California Common Cause is a non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American Democracy, reinventing an open, honest and responsive government that works for the public interests, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard. To achieve this, we work to establish independent redistricting commissions to draw the new city council district lines using the 2020 Census. We believe that voters should choose their politicians, politicians should not choose their voters. We advocate for redistricting done by the people and for the people.
The way district lines are drawn impacts who gets elected and whether elected officials are responsive to the community. When district lines actually reflect our communities, we have a greater ability to elect candidates of our choice and hold politicians accountable. When district lines slice up communities and protect incumbents, the opposite is true.
We believe we get better district lines, and avoid gerrymandering, when independent, community-run redistricting commissions are in charge, instead of politicians.
Make Your Voice Heard
We encourage you to tell the Martinez City Council that an independent redistricting commission is the best practice for redistricting. Make your voice heard during the public comments period at city council meetings and through letters and e-mails.
- Have Your Voice Heard on Redistricting in Martinez
- City Council Meeting Agenda, Minutes and How to Participate
You did it! Martinez residents organized and helped to create a Citizen’s Independent Redistricting Commission.
Please spread the word about applying for the commission. Share this with all the Martinez residents you know and on your social media.
History of Redistricting in Martinez
“Martinez, like most California cities, gives incumbents the power to draw their own districts. As explained by the Center for Voting and Democracy, it is a conflict of interest to have politicians “choose their voters before the voters choose them.” Such a conflict was apparent in the recent establishment of districts in Martinez. While the City Council technically followed the letter of the law by opening the process to public hearings, little public input was incorporated into the final map and the map which was adopted reflects the City Councilmembers’ primary consideration… to protect their own seats.”
Redistricting Activist Toolkit
Check out Common Cause’s Redistricting Activist Toolkit to learn about redistricting reform efforts throughout the country and how you can bring reform to Martinez.
Local Redistricting in my Area
The California Local Redistricting Project is a joint effort of California Common Cause and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law to provide educational resources and assistance to local jurisdictions interested in moving away from political redistricting towards independent redistricting. The Project is made possible due to funding by the James Irvine Foundation.
This site includes:
- educational resources about reforming the local redistricting process;
- a database of every local redistricting reform commission enacted in California; and
- an ordinance generator so you can create a sample ordinance tailored to the needs of your community.
California Redistricting Commission
In 2008, California Common Cause led a coalition that drafted and passed the historic Voters First Act, which took a significant step toward ending gerrymandering in California. This ballot initiative stripped California legislators of the power to draw state legislative districts and created the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC). In 2010, we won again when Californians passed a separate initiative, the Voters First Act for Congress, that added congressional districts to the CRC’s mandate. The CRC is now a national model for redistricting reform that is the basis for proposals that will be on the ballot in several states this November.
The CRC is a 14-person Redistricting Commission consisting of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four people who are registered with neither of the two main parties. After every decennial Census, the CRC redraws California’s congressional, state legislative, and Board of Equalization lines based on Census data and comments from the public.
The graphic below demonstrates the selection process for commissioners who serve on the CRC: