The guide outlines common sense principles for designing and implementing independent redistricting commissions throughout the state
Los Angeles, CA – In response to the redistricting scandal that has emerged from the Los Angeles City Council, California Common Cause has launched the “Guide to CA Fair Redistricting,” which outlines key policy considerations and best practices for what truly independent redistricting should look like in California. The scandal sparked renewed interest in redistricting throughout the state and has amplified the urgent need for independent redistricting commissions across all levels of government. The “Guide to CA Fair Redistricting” is intended to serve as an independent validator for jurisdictions as they evaluate and shape proposed legislation for implementing independent redistricting commissions in the city of Los Angeles and beyond.
“The time for independent redistricting is now,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, California Common Cause’s Executive Director. “The ‘Fair Districts for CA’ Agenda gives local governments the tools to take decisive action in establishing independent commissions ahead of the next redistricting cycle.”
California Common Cause has been a leader on independent redistricting in California, staunchly advocating for independent redistricting commissions for decades. California Common Cause, along with allies, was a principal architect of the state’s hugely successful citizen-run independent redistricting commission. In the most recent redistricting cycle alone, California Common Cause monitored over 60 local jurisdictions using redistricting processes of various kinds. The data from the two-year span overwhelmingly showed that independent redistricting commissions lead to better outcomes for voters over all other alternatives, with those jurisdictions’ processes being far more inclusive, participatory, transparent, and fair.
Specifically, the “Fair Districts for CA” Agenda details policy considerations and best practices for ordinances or charter amendments establishing independent redistricting commissions in California, from overall guiding principles down to commission organization and implementation. Key recommendations from the guide focus on prioritizing a fully transparent and publicly led process, increasing public participation to influence the drawing of lines and ensuring full independence from any political interference.
“Anything less than independent redistricting is not enough,” Stein added. “As the scandal in LA illustrates, California’s communities, and especially its communities of color, have been used as pawns in incumbent-led redistricting for too long. Californians can’t wait any longer – once widespread redistricting reform begins to take shape on the local level, we can start building trust in our democratic process from the ground up.”