Earlier this week, the Globe sought information about the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission members, and ran into a brick wall.
We found a non-partisan elections analysis blog that reported last July 2020 that “initial selections were made for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the body tasked with drawing boundaries for the U.S. Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, and the Board of Equalization. This fourteen-member commission comprises five Democrats, five Republicans, and four belonging to other parties or no party at all.”
But the blog linked to shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov website, hosted by the State Auditor, as well as the applications for the 2020 California Redistricting Commission members, which were no longer live links.
The Globe contacted the State Auditor to find out why, and to ask how and why the Auditor was even involved with the redistricting commission. We did not hear back from the Auditor’s office by the time we published the article.
However, we were able to connect with Margarita Fernández, CPA, Chief of Public Affairs and Quality Assurance at the State Auditor the following day. Fernández cleared up our questions.
Ms. Fernández said the ballot initiative which voters passed creating the California Citizens Redistricting Commission gave the auditor a role, but only in the application process – every 10 years. She said the auditor merely hosts the applications up to a certain point, when the commissioners are picked, and then for a little while longer, until they take down the applications.
The confusion we experienced was largely because the actual “Wedrawthelines.ca.gov” website also referred visitors to links at the shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov. But by the time the Globe attempted to access the applications, the Auditor’s office had already removed them.
Margarita Fernández said they would follow up with Wedrawthelines.ca.gov and have them update their website.
Fernández also directed the Globe to a new website for the commission, Wedrawthelinesca.org, which has all of the information we were seeking, including the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commissioners. The Globe just wanted to know who the commissioners are.
Here they are with current links to their biographies:
Fernández said the first eight Citizens Redistricting Commissioners are selected at random from a group of finalists. Those eight members then choose six more members from the group of finalists.
The list of “submitting parties” is HERE.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is a state agency created by the passage of California Proposition 11 in 2008, also known as the “Voters First Act.”
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission draws the boundary lines for California state legislative districts and Board of Equalization districts after each decennial census.
The successful passage of Proposition 20―the Voters First Act for Congress―November 2, 2010, means that the CCRC is also in charge of re-drawing district lines for California’s U.S. Congressional delegation, according to Ballotpedia.
With official U.S. Census figures unveiled Monday showing that California will lose one congressional seat and electoral vote due to a massive slowdown of population growth, the Globe will revisit the commission in the near future.