Anti-Gerrymandering Redistricting Reform Gaining Momentum in the Legislature
- Jonathan Mehta Stein firstname.lastname@example.org
AB 764 and AB 1248 would help end gerrymandering in the state and bring local redistricting into alignment with statewide and congressional redistricting standards
SACRAMENTO – A package of statewide redistricting reform bills that would help end gerrymandering and the abuse of local redistricting processes in California passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday. AB 764 (Bryan) and AB 1248 (Bryan and Allen) have recently gained a groundswell of support, pushing the bills past a massive legislative hurdle and inching them closer to becoming law.
“The abuse of our redistricting processes by incumbent politicians is a statewide issue that requires statewide solutions if California is to build a fully inclusive and representative democracy that works for everyone,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “Informed by evaluations of over 100 local jurisdictions’ redistricting processes and conversations with dozens of community-based organizations, AB 764 and AB 1248 make this vision a reality.”
Backed by civil rights, good government, and community organizations, these bills would empower communities in the redistricting process and would help end gerrymandering at the local level by strengthening current redistricting protections and establishing independent redistricting commissions for larger local jurisdictions.
AB 764 amends 2019’s FAIR MAPS Act (FMA), a bill that requires cities and counties to use standardized, fair redistricting criteria that prioritize communities when drawing district lines. The bill strengthens the FMA’s redistricting criteria, public engagement requirements, and transparency measures, and would extend its protections to additional local governments, like school boards. It would also prohibit incumbent-protection gerrymandering and would give the public greater control over a process that fundamentally should belong to them.
Under AB 1248, all counties, cities, school districts, and community college districts with a population over 300,000 would be required to establish an independent redistricting commission before the 2030 redistricting cycle that meets their own local needs. If they do not act on their own, they would be required to utilize a more detailed default commission structure outlined in state law.
“Comprehensive redistricting reform is a long-term solution for building truly representative elections and a democracy that includes everyone,” said Laurel Brodzinsky, California Common Cause’s Legislative Director. “The momentum of AB 764 and AB 1248 shows there’s a real chance that California can end the abuse of our redistricting processes and set the national standard for prioritizing people over politicians.”
AB 764 is sponsored by California Common Cause, League of Women Voters of California, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California. AB 1248 is sponsored by California Common Cause, ACLU of Southern California, Asian Law Caucus, and League of Women Voters of California.
Registered Support for AB 764:
AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund, ACLU California Action, AFSCME, Alameda County Coalition for Fair Redistricting, Alliance San Diego, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, California Environmental Voters (formerly CLCV), Catalyst California, Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy, California Common Cause, Communities for A New California (CNC), Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), Community Health Councils, Courage California, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Indivisible CA Statestrong, Indivisible Marin, Initiate Justice, Initiate Justice Action, Inland Equity Partnership, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of The San Francisco Bay Area, League of Women Voters of California, Oakland Rising Action, OC Action, Peninsula Family Service, San Francisco Rising, Secure Justice, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Resistance Northridge-indivisible, The Santa Monica Democratic Club, Thrive, the Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County, Voices for Progress, Young Women’s Freedom Center
Registered Support for AB 1248:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Southern California, California Common Cause, League of Women Voters of California, AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund, ACLU California Action, AFSCME, Alameda County Coalition for Fair Redistricting, Alliance San Diego, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Southern California, California Environmental Voters (formerly CLCV), Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy, Community Health Councils, Courage California, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Indivisible CA Statestrong, Initiate Justice, Initiate Justice Action, Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, Inland Empire United, Inland Equity Partnership, OC Action, San Francisco Rising, Santa Monica Democratic Club, The Resistance Northridge-Indivisible