The way district lines are drawn affects how politicians represent constituents’ interests. When district lines represent their communities, we have a greater ability to elect candidates of our choice and hold politicians accountable. Having a good representative determines whether your tax dollars are used to serve your community. Independent redistricting commissions like our statewide citizens commission are a best practice for redistricting, ensuring that voters can pick elected officials that represent their interests the best.
Let’s work together to create a Citizen’s Independent Redistricting Commission in Martinez.
Click here for The Mercury’s News article: Judge may force Martinez to change its City Council districts; lawsuit headed to trial
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 Handbook
Check out Common Cause’s Redistricting Activist Handbook 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: