Background and Procedural Information

Assemblymembers Mike Villines and Anthony Adams introduced California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4.  As of June 4, 2008 the proposed amendment is currently stalled in the Assembly.   

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

Single-member districts are a requirement for the California Assembly, Senate, Board of Equalization, and Congress.   

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

The proposed commission would only use voter history information only for purposes of complying with the Voting Rights Act.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The Commission would consist of eleven members.  Four members each would be registered with the largest and second largest political party while three would not be registered with either of those parties.  The Secretary of State would select the eleven acting and alternate commissioners by randomly selecting applicants from a combined active voter list compiled by the election officials from each county in California.  The Secretary of State would ask each potential Commissioner if they would like to serve as commissioner until the twenty-two active and alternate spots were filled.  After the Commission has created its final plan the voters of California must pass it in the same manner as they would a referendum.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Priorities of the Commission are ranked in level of importance from one to eight.  The eighth priority is for competitive districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

Yes.  Members of the public may offer a complete or partial proposed redistricting plan, written comments, or oral testimony.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

It does not strictly forbid mid-decade redistricting, although there are no provisions for Commission action after it submits the final redistricting plan.  
November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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