Every ten years, we count every person in the United States through a process called the “Census.” This count gives us a snapshot of how many people there are and where they live.
Once we know how many people live in California, we can divide the population evenly into districts for the State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization. This is called “redistricting.”
Historically, the State Legislature has drawn these district maps. In 2011, a citizens commission will be in charge.
By Redistricting CA on December 15, 2009
It is important that elected representatives listen to the public’s interests to ensure that our votes matter. A critical step is to draw district lines that keep communities intact. The way district lines are drawn affects how politicians represent constituents’ interests. When communities are kept whole, we have a greater ability to hold politicians accountable.
The Commission needs to hear from you in order to know where your community is. You are the best source of information about your local area and where communities of interest exist. Information about you and your neighbors and why you should be in the same districts will help the Commission draw fair and representative districts. Without input from the public, the Commission will have to come up with other ways to figure out where communities of interest exist. There are several ways you can help the Commission:
The first step is to identify a community, including what common bonds hold it together and where it is located geographically. You can help establish a community of interest that the Commission should consider when drawing district lines.
The Commission will need to know where your community of interest is located in order to avoid splitting it between districts. One of the easiest ways for the Commission to know where your community is located is for you to make a map showing it. There are several ways to do this:
The Commission will be looking at a lot of information when deciding where to draw lines. The best way you can try to keep your community of interest together is to give information to the Commission and keep track of the decisions they make. You can be involved with the Commission in several ways.