Citizens Redistricting Commission welcomes public engagement

August 4, 2010 by Malka Kopell

Exciting things are underway in Sacramento in the form of the Applicant Review Panel (ARP) and its impact on statewide redistricting.

In fact, the ARP is like nothing else this state has ever seen.

Why? The Applicant Review Panel will soon select California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was the result of voters taking the future of California in their own hands. We, the people, passed Proposition 11 and voiced our desire to be involved in shaping the future of this state. Everyday California citizens will be chosen from a pool of applicants and finally make the decisions about redistricting we have all been anticipating since Proposition 11 passed.

It turns out quite a few people want a crack at personally reforming California’s government. The applicant pool began with 30,000 Californians and as the process continues, the ARP has made both the remaining 120 applicants and the actual deliberations available online.

Public commenting is still invited as the ARP moves closer to choosing the redistricting commission members. Any member of the public can voice their opinions about candidates on the ARP website. You can even watch the ARP debate between a former truck driver, a teacher, or a stay-at-home mom. By engaging with the ARP throughout this process, you are ensuring a public oversight of the commission’s deliberations and the future impact of redistricting in California.

Even if you can’t sit on the actual Citizen’s Redistricting Commission, or as we like to call it, the people’s commission, you can still participate by contacting the California State Auditor's office and remaining engaged throughout California’s redistricting process.

Our citizen commissioners will change history in Sacramento, and all of California has been invited to participate in the decision-making process. The Applicant Review Panel, along with your input, represents reform in action. As we prepare for the redistricting commission to be seated, let’s continue to look for ways to reform California’s state government.

To find other ways to engage in the reform movement underway in California, please explore and the California Forward Action Fund site at You can follow our Action Fund updates on Twitter at @MoveCAFWD and join the ongoing discussion about a better California government on Facebook.

Malka Kopell is the redistricting implementation project director at California Forward.