CA 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.
There are four redistricting models used to draw new district lines for cities and counties:
*Redistricting by City Councils and Boards of Supervisors:
This model gives politicians the sole power to draw the new district lines and adopt new district maps. Under this model, politicians can gerrymander districts to protect their incumbency and their party’s majority. They can also draw the new district lines to undermine communities and limit representation.
*Advisory Redistricting Commission: This model gives a redistricting commission an advisory role in the process of drawing the new district lines. Typically, the advisory commission will hold hearings and draft a map, but the Board of Supervisors or City Council has the power to adopt, modify, or ignore the advisory commission’s recommended map.
*Hybrid Redistricting Commission: This model is a combination of an advisory and independent commission. This type of commission will have the power to draw and adopt new district lines. However, they are required to take into consideration the input from the Board of Supervisors or City Council. This commission can implement those considerations or not.
* Independent Redistricting Commission: This model provides the commission full independence from the Board of Supervisors or City Council. The independent redistricting commission holds hearings, draws draft maps, and adopts a final map. Typically, independent commissions do not consider incumbent addresses or partisan advantage.
- City Council Meeting Calendar
- How to Watch and Participate in City Council Meetings
- City Council Meeting Agenda and Minutes
Menlo Park residents created an
Independent Redistricting Commission!
Congratulations to the residents of Menlo Park for your work to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission. We know that a few dedicated people can make a difference! The application to apply to be a commissioner is available @ tinyurl.com/zfijkfysj Please spread the word!!
Our work is not over. We invite you to participate in the Menlo Park mapping process. Check out the city’s website for updates on meetings, mapping tools and ways to comment on the process here:
For more information on how to implement a community-led Independent Redistricting Commission in your city or county contact Helen Grieco at firstname.lastname@example.org
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: