NEW: Anti-Gerrymandering Advocates Release Roadmap for Independent L.A. Redistricting
LOS ANGELES — The City of Los Angeles is moving to send the creation of an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to the ballot for Angelenos to consider in 2024. As the City finalizes its recommendations, California Common Cause has released a roadmap of core principles to ensure that new amendments to the City Charter create a Commission that is truly independent and worthy of the public’s trust.
“Anything less than a fully independent redistricting process is not good enough for Los Angeles,” said Russia Chavis Cardenas, California Common Cause’s voting rights & redistricting program manager. “Truly independent redistricting – free from the political gamesmanship that leads to gerrymandering – restores trust in our government and will build a City Council that is truly reflective of and prioritizes the needs of Angelenos.”
As one of the architects of California’s statewide Citizens Redistricting Commission and one of the leading advocates for independent redistricting in local communities, California Common Cause’s recommendations are informed by our monitoring of over 60 local jurisdictions during the most recent redistricting process, as well as two decades of experience monitoring and working with the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission.
After careful analysis of the Los Angeles City Council’s Chief Legislative Analyst’s report on independent redistricting, California Common Cause recommends these core principles to guide the creation of an independent commission:
- Establish a fully independent redistricting commission to ensure the integrity, fairness, transparency, and accessibility of the redistricting process and to prohibit discriminatory redistricting practices;
- Allow the independent Commission to undergo responsive evolution;
- Ensure that the City Council reflects the growth of the City by increasing the number of council districts;
- Establish requirements and procedures that allow for the selection of a diverse, reflective, engaged, and impartial commission and prohibits commissioners from engaging in ex parte communications;
- Ensure redistricting requirements and criteria that prioritize keeping communities and neighborhoods whole;
- Prioritize community input in the map-drawing process, especially from those in underrepresented communities and non-English speaking communities;
- and more.
“We know how to build a redistricting process that works for all Angelenos,” said Alton Wang, Equal Justice Works Fellow at Common Cause. “At the state-level, California is a national redistricting leader. Los Angeles must now step up to the plate and join cities across our state as another shining example for what truly independent, community-centered redistricting should be.”
The Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform will hear recommendations from the academic community and community organizations, including a presentation from California Common Cause, on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at 1:00 PM. The final adoption of recommendations is tentatively scheduled for early this fall.