Sunday, June 12, 2011

California Citizens Redistricting Commission releases draft distric maps

On Friday, June 10 the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released its first draft of the district boundaries for the California State Assembly, State Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives.

I want to congratulate the commission for doing what it was mandated to do: setting up compact districts with reasonable geographic boundaries. This is in contrast to past district redraws (they happen every 10 years, after each census), which aimed to give as many incumbent politicians safe districts as was possible.

The commissions maps are published here: California District Maps First Draft. In these low-resolution maps it is hard to tell where the exact boundaries are.

The LA Times put together an California Redistricting interactive map with far more detail. They also look at political consequences in District Maps Draw a New Political Landscape.

The Sacramento Bee offers Draft California congressional maps promise more competition.

Keep in mind that better districts may help, but without well-informed citizens participating in the process, no process can be said to be truly democratic.