The California Citizens Redistricting Commission now knows exactly how many Congressional districts it will need to draw. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that, even though California’s population grew by ten percent over the last ten years, the size of our congressional delegation will remain the same.
California currently has 53 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the most of any state.
The reason California will get no new congressional representatives, is that our growth has roughly kept pace with the nation’s growth: 9.7 percent. Nationally, 9.7 percent is the second-slowest rate of growth ever recorded. Census data collection began in 1790.
Texas and Nevada are two states that will pick up delegates. The population of Texas grew by 20 percent, and it will add four new delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives. Nevada’s population grew by 35 percent, and Arizona’s population also grew, giving them each one additional seat. Florida will see an increase of two. New York and Ohio both lost two seats.
This is the first time since 1920 that California has not gained at least one seat. The Golden State, however, still has the largest delegation in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives – with 53 seats.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission was seated earlier this month and will begin the work of redrawing districts in January. It is charged with redrawing district lines for Congress, the State Legislature, and the Board of Equalization.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission was created in response to the passage of Proposition 11 in 2008. Citizen redistricting was reaffirmed by voters in Nov. 2011, with the passage of Proposition 20, which added Congressional redistricting. The commission includes five Republicans, five Democrats, and four independent, minority party, or decline-to-state voters. It must complete its work by Aug. 15, 2011.
California Forward advocated for the commission’s existence and worked to educate voters on the importance of redistricting to a fair and functioning system.
Armando Botello II is the communication associate at California Forward.