My name is __________, and I’m with __________. I have two main things to talk to you about. The first is the process of redistricting, and why redistricting is important. The second is the new redistricting commission that has been established by Proposition 11, and why it’s important to learn more about this commission and what it does. The basic point of my presentation is to encourage you to consider applying for this new commission, and to ask you to encourage other people to apply for the commission. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] For the first time in California’s history, ordinary citizens will be able to have a direct say in how the next set of state legislative districts are drawn. This is literally a once-in-a-decade opportunity.
The United States Constitution requires that political districts have the same number of residents. This is called the principle of population equality, otherwise known as one person, one vote. The goal of population equality is to make sure that each member of Congress represents the same number of people. This is true for districts at all levels of government, including Congressional districts, state districts, and local districts. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] Here we have a very simple example of four districts. Each district has five people each – so each elected official represents the same number of people.
Over time, people move from one area to another. This means some areas have population growth, and other have decreases in population. For example, in recent years, many people have moved from Los Angeles County to the Inland Empire because housing prices are relatively lower there. Because of this, districts become uneven in size during the course of a decade. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger third and final animation.] In this example, the two districts on the right now contain more people than the two districts on the left.
Every ten years, the federal government counts everyone in the country – this is called the census. After the census is finished, district boundaries must be redrawn to even out the size of each district – this is called redistricting, and it happens at all levels of government. In California, the district boundaries are redrawn for Congress, the State Assembly, the State Senate, and the hundreds of county boards, city councils, and school boards in California. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] This process of drawing new district maps is based on the Census data. In this example, the blue dotted lines represent the old district boundaries. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The purple lines represent the new district boundaries. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fourth and final animation.] With the new lines, each district now contains six people.
Redistricting can affect the political balance of power in Congress and the state legislature. For example, redistricting can affect the balance of power between political parties, geographic regions, ethnic groups, and special interests. Redistricting can also affect whether elections are competitive or foregone conclusions. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] In this example, the district with the green boundary is two-thirds Democrat, and one-third Republican. This would be considered a safe Democratic district, meaning that it is very unlikely that a Republican could win this district. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] But if we change how the district is drawn, the district becomes one-half Democrat, and one-half Republican. The district with the orange boundary would be considered a toss-up district, meaning that the elections in this district would be very competitive between Democratic and Republican candidates. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] A key thing to remember is that the impact of redistricting lasts for ten years at a time. The effect of redistricting is profound, more than any single election or event.
For better or for worse, different segments of our population have differing political views. These political views are often correlated with one’s party affiliation. These views are also frequently correlated with social and economic characteristics, as well as geographic location. For example, racial and ethnic minorities often have viewpoints on which candidates will best represent them that are different from other populations. Where there are these differences in viewpoints, the way district maps are drawn affects whether racial and ethnic minorities have the ability to elect candidates of their choice, or at least influence the outcome of elections. In this example, a racial minority population makes up one-fourth of the area’s population. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] If we draw the district lines this way, there are four districts, and the minority population makes up only one-fourth of each district. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] Chances are that the minority population will not have much of a say in how elections are determined in any of these districts, even though the minority population makes up one-fourth of the area’s entire population. There’s also a strong possibility that none of the elected representatives from these districts will be especially responsive to the needs of the minority population – the elected representatives don’t have to rely on the minority population to get re-elected, and have less incentive to pay attention to them. This same dynamic plays out with any group that is a political minority – for example, Democrats in heavily Republican areas, Republicans in heavily Democratic areas, and other groups that are politically cohesive, but have views different from those of the majority population.
But things could be different if we draw the district lines another way. [Hit right arrow once to trigger first animation.] Here the minority population makes up over three-quarters of the population in the middle district. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] Chances are that the minority population will have a significant influence on the outcome of elections in this district. The minority population in this district is also in a stronger position to lobby their representative to meet their needs. This is in contrast to the districts in the previous slide, where the minority population had little influence in any of the four districts. In the past couple of slides, I’ve simplified the process of drawing district maps. There are other rules for how the maps must be drawn. One of these is the federal Voting Rights Act, which may provide protection for racial and ethnic minorities in a situation like this one. The Voting Rights Act is critical to ensuring that racial and ethnic minority communities have an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. The commission will have an important role in determining whether the next set of district maps comply with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.
In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 11. Before Proposition 11, the California legislature was in charge of drawing four sets of districts – Congress, State Assembly, State Senate, and Board of Equalization. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation (this animation lasts several seconds).] After Proposition 11, the legislature is still in charge of drawing districts for Congress. But now a Citizens Redistricting Commission will draw districts for the State Assembly, State Senate, and Board of Equalization. The commission is made up of 14 California voters. Individuals such as yourself or people you know may apply to be on the commission. I’ll talk more about the application process in just a bit.
The commission will do the vast majority of its work in 2011, from January 1 to September 15, which is about eight-and-a-half months. The commissioners have three primary tasks. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The first is to hire people to help them, including staff, consultants, and attorneys. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The second task is to hold meetings throughout California. The meetings will be attended by members of the public who want to provide input on how the district maps should be drawn. The commission will hold at least two sets of meetings. The first set of meetings is to take input before the commission prepares a draft set of maps. The second set of meetings is to take comments on the commission’s draft maps. After this, the commission will prepare a final version of the maps. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger third and final animation.] The third task is to draw and vote on maps for the State Assembly, State Senate, and Board of Equalization. To do this, the commissioners will have to consider the public input they received, and will also have to decide among themselves about how the maps should be drawn. Once the commissioners have prepared a map, they have to vote on it. 9 of the 14 commissioners must agree on the map for the map to be approved. This may seem like a lot of work, but the commissioners will get plenty of help to do all of these things. The staff will help the commission set up the meetings. And the staff, consultants and attorneys will help the commissioners draw the district maps.
You’ve heard me talk about what the commission will do, but why does it matter? How will things be different now that the State Assembly and Senate maps will be drawn by a commission, instead of the legislature? [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] One important difference is that elected officials can have different incentives than a citizens commission. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] Elected officials have an interest in getting re-elected. This is not to disparage or criticize elected officials. It’s just human nature. [Hit right arrow once last time to trigger third and final animation.] Sometimes, elected officials draw maps that prioritize their interests over other considerations. It’s human nature for incumbents to draw maps that make it easier for them to get re-elected. Sometimes this means that the maps they draw may not take into account the interests of cities and minority communities.
In this example, we have a district that stretches across two counties and was drawn to cherry pick Republican and conservative voters to protect the re-election chances of the incumbent in the district. An oft-quoted saying is that this district is connected only at low tide. The key point here is that sometimes elected officials have different incentives than a citizens commission. Again, this is not to disparage or criticize elected officials, but to point out that when drawing district lines, sometimes elected officials may draw districts to make it easier to get re-elected, or to exclude the residence of potential challengers, or for other reasons.
The point of the commission is to have maps drawn by people who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome. This will work only if we have the right people on the commission. What kind of people are we looking for? What kind of mindset should the commissioners have? [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The commissioners should be civic-minded. This means they understand the value of public service, and they are willing to put in the time required to be on the commission. They understand the value of a democracy where all segments of the population have a voice. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The commissioners should be community-oriented. This means they understand the needs of various communities, and have a history of working to meet those needs. They look beyond their own individual interests to those of a larger community. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] The commissioners should be able to work well with others. The commission will include individuals with different political affiliations and viewpoints, and the commissioners will have to be open to working with each other. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fourth and final animation.] Lastly, the commission should reflect the diversity of California’s population, including racial, geographic, and economic diversity. Diversity of background and experience may help the commission draw maps that keep diverse communities together instead of splitting them apart. The more diverse the pool of applicants, the greater chance there is of having a diverse commission.
To be a member of the commission, you have to apply. There is no formal nomination process –instead, anyone who is eligible can apply. There are some qualifications that applicants must have. These qualifications are required under Proposition 11. I’ll give you a fact sheet with more information, but here’s a quick summary. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] Commissioners must have the ability to be impartial – they have to be able to set aside their personal views and biases. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] Commissioners must have the ability to understand the diverse needs and characteristics of California’s population and geography. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] Commissioners must have various analytical skills such as understanding reports, collecting input from various individuals, and taking a set of facts and applying rules to those facts. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fourth and final animation.] One last thing I want to clarify – you don’t have to be a redistricting expert to be on the commission. The commission will have staff, consultants and attorneys who are redistricting experts. Also, redistricting is heavily dependent on data and mapping, but the commission’s staff, consultants and attorneys will have the technical data and mapping skills necessary to draw the maps.
One of the main players in the selection process is the California State Auditor, who is in charge of making sure that applicants are in fact eligible to serve on the commission Another player is a panel of three government auditors. This panel will review all the applications and conduct some interviews. The process for selecting the commissioners is complicated and it will take up to a year. I’ll give you a fact sheet that outlines the various steps for selecting the commissioners. For now, let’s keep things simple and talk about what applicants need to focus on – there are five basic things that applicants have to do. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The first thing is to fill out the first part of the application form. You have to do this online, at the California State Auditor’s website. The first part of the application form is called the “initial application,” and the form asks for basic information about yourself that the State Auditor will use to determine whether you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the commission. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] It’s important to note that applicants must submit the initial application by February 12, 2010. If you don’t submit the initial application by then, you can’t serve on the commission. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] The second thing to do is to fill out the second part of the application, called the supplemental application. The supplemental application asks you to provide several essays about your qualifications to be on the commission. Not everyone who submitted the initial application will be able to fill out the supplemental application. This is because the State Auditor will screen out the applicants who are not eligible, and only people who are still eligible will be allowed to submit the supplemental application. [Hit right arrow again to trigger fourth animation.] Applicants also need to secure three recommendation letters and have those sent in. [Hit right arrow again to trigger fifth animation.] Of everyone who submitted the first and second parts of the application, 120 applicants will be selected for an interview. The three-person panel will select these 120 applicants. If you are one of the leading candidates to make it into the final list of 120, you will be asked to fill out a Form 700. The Form 700 is called a “statement of economic interests,” and it is a common form that any appointee to a commission is required to fill out. Applicants who are asked to fill out a Form 700 will have 30 days to submit the form. [Hit right arrow again to trigger sixth animation.] After you send in your Form 700, and if you are one of the 120 applicants selected for an interview, then you will have to travel to Sacramento for your interview. Your travel expenses will be reimbursed. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger seventh and final animation.] The remainder of the application process is basically a waiting game. I’m leaving out a couple of steps here, but the basic idea is that once all the interviews are conducted, the three-person panel will establish a final list of 60 applicants. After that, 8 people will be selected at random to be on the commission, and then those 8 will pick the remaining 6 commissioners. The commission will be in place by December 31, 2010.
There are five key things that potential applicants should know about the commission. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The first is that the commission has various slots reserved by party affiliation. Specifically, of the 14 commissioners, 5 must be registered Democrats, 5 must be registered Republicans, and 4 must be “other,” which includes decline-to-state and third party voters. The commissioners must have been registered with the same party for the past five years, or have been registered as a decline-to-state voter for the past five years. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The second is that there are some rules for who can and cannot serve on the commission. Detailed information about these rules is contained in the handouts I’ll give you, but the basic idea is that the commissioners must be registered voters, must have voted in 2 of the last 3 statewide general elections, and must pass various conflict of interest provisions. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] The third is that there are some rules for what the commissioners can and cannot do. One thing to note is that the commissioners may not run for federal, state or local office for ten years – so until the end of 2020. Also, the commissioners may not be appointed to federal, state or local office, or work as a state legislative staffer, for five years – so until the end of 2015. The handouts I’ll give you have more information about this. [Hit right arrow again to trigger fourth animation.] The fourth is the time commitment for being a commissioner. As I mentioned before, the commission will do most of its work in 2011, starting on January 1 and ending on September 15. One estimate I’ve heard of how much time is required is about 10 to 40 hours per week, on average. During some weeks, it could be more. Also, technically, the commissioners are on the hook for 10 years – they are in office until the next commission is appointed. After the commission’s work in 2011 is done, it’s possible that the commissioners will have to be involved with defending the maps against legal challenges – but the commissioners can hire attorneys to do this work for them, so it’s actually not so bad. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fifth and final animation.] The last thing is that the commissioners are compensated for their time. Since there is a significant time commitment to be a commissioner, the commissioners will get $300 per day for each day that they work. Also, the commissioners have to do a fair amount of travel, but all of their travel and other expenses will be reimbursed.
There are four things you can do to help ensure that we have a qualified and diverse pool of individuals applying for the commission. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The first is to get more information about the commission and the process of redistricting. I’ll give you some website links on the next two slides, and I also have some handouts to provide you with more detailed information. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The second is to consider applying for the commission. To do this, you should figure out whether you are eligible to apply. Also, you should spend some time figuring out whether this is the right fit for you. Being on the commission is a substantial commitment, and you should talk to your family members and friends about your decision. The handouts I’m giving you and the website links on the next two slides will help you with these things. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] The third is to spread the word. Even if you don’t want to apply yourself, you probably know people who would be good applicants for the commission. You or your organization can send out an email blast, or put a link on your website to the sites listed on the next two slides. You can also write a letter to the editor, write a post on a blog, or include a link on your Facebook page. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fourth and final animation.] The fourth is to help us compile a list of potential applicants. We are helping individuals understand what the commission does, and how to apply. If you have good people in mind, please also let us know who they are – we can send them information about the commission and help them with the process of applying (or if you can’t give us their names, at least pass this information along to them).
There are four sources of information you can go to for more information about the commission. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] The first source consists of the fact sheets I’m giving to you. These fact sheets have information about how to apply, who’s eligible to serve on the commission, and some practical tips for the application process. They were produced by a group of organizations that are seeking to promote a qualified and diverse applicant pool. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second animation.] The second is the official website for the commission process. This website has been set up by the California State Auditor. This is where you can access the application form and learn more about how the commissioners will be selected. The California State Auditor will translate several of the materials on this website into Spanish and some Asian languages. The website will also have a tracking system where you can find out how many people have applied, including a breakdown by geographic location, race, and gender. Important: This is also the website that people must use to submit their application form. [Hit right arrow again to trigger third animation.] The third resource is a hotline established by the California State Auditor. This is a toll-free number. If someone has specific questions about the application, they can call this number to get help. [Hit right arrow one last time to trigger fourth and final animation.] The fourth resource is an email help desk provided by the California State Auditor. If someone has specific questions about the application, they can email their questions to the State Auditor.
If there are some people you want to encourage to apply, I have some outreach materials for you to use. There is a website produced by the same group of organizations who made the fact sheets and this powerpoint. [Hit right arrow once to trigger animation.] This website has flyers and brochures you can download, and online PSAs and informational videos. You can also download this very powerpoint. You can also find a list of organizations that are conducting outreach to get people to apply, and a calendar of their outreach events. The website also has more information about redistricting in general. [Hit right arrow again to trigger second and final animation.] This is my organization’s website [or Facebook page]. If you’re interested in personally connecting with other people about this issue, you can go here.
Instructions to presenter
This powerpoint comes with a suggested script for you to use. The script appears in the Notes section of this powerpoint.
You should have been given some handouts to pass out to the audience – please remember to distribute them at the end of your presentation.
Please remember to ask for sign-ups at the end of your presentation.
This presentation is about 30 minutes long – skip slides depending on how much time you actually have.
California’s New Redistricting Commission Our once-in-a-decade opportunity to map California’s future
What is redistricting? Each district must have the same number of residents. 5 5 5 5
4 7 8 Over time, districts become uneven in size. What is redistricting? 5
What is redistricting? 6 Every ten years, the district lines have to be redrawn to make each district even in size again. 6 Based on Census data 6 6
Why does redistricting matter? Redistricting shapes the landscape in which elections are conducted. ⅔ Democrat ⅓ Republican ½ Democrat ½ Republican For a decade at a time
Redistricting affects whether minorities have a say in the outcome of elections. Example #1 Minorities make up only ¼ in all four districts Why does redistricting matter?
Why does redistricting matter? Redistricting affects whether minorities have a say in the outcome of elections. Example #2 Minorities make up ¾ in one district
How does Proposition 11 change redistricting? California Legislature After Proposition 11: Draws Congressional districts Draws State Assembly districts Draws State Senate districts Draws Board of Equalization districts Draws State Assembly districts Draws State Senate districts Draws Board of Equalization districts Citizens Redistricting Commission Before Proposition 11: Proposition 11 transfers redistricting authority:
What will the commission do? Citizens Redistricting Commission Hire staff, consultants, and attorneys Hold meetings to collect public input Draw and adopt new district maps From Jan. 1 to Sept. 15, 2011
Why does the commission matter? It matters who draws the lines : Elected officials can have different incentives than commissioners. It’s human nature for incumbents to want a good chance of getting re-elected. Sometimes the maps they draw prioritize their interests ahead of other considerations.
California Congressional Districts, 1982 L.A. South Bay/Orange County Area Why does the commission matter?
People who are : □ Community- oriented □ Civic-minded □ Able to work well with others □ Diverse Who should apply for the commission?
What are the qualifications for the commission? Qualifications : □ Appreciation for diversity □ Ability to be impartial □ Analytical skills
Top five things applicants need to do : 2. Fill out a supplemental application form (if eligible) 3. Have three recommendation letters sent in (if eligible) 5. Participate in interview (if invited) 4. Submit Form 700 (if invited) Deadline is Feb. 12, 2010 After several more steps, the commission will be in place by Dec. 31, 2010
What are some key things to know? Top five things that applicants should know : 4. Time commitment 2. Rules about who is eligible to serve 5. Compensation and reimbursement 1. Partisan make-up of commission 3. Rules for what commissioners can do and cannot do $$ Registered voter Voted in 2 of last 3 elections Conflict of interests Independents ---------------------------- Third Parties
What can I do to help? Consider applying for the commission Spread the word Help us compile a list of potential applicants – can you give us 5 names? Become informed
Where can I get more information? Go online at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov Call the California State Auditor toll-free at 1-866-356-5217 Email your questions to [email_address] Read the fact sheets you just received
Where can I get tools for outreach? [insert other link as appropriate] www.commoncause.org/redistrictingCA You can go to the following websites to download this powerpoint and get other tools for encouraging people to apply: