SCA 10
Background and Procedural Information

Senator Alan Lowenthal introduced California Senate Constitutional Amendment 10 on April 23, 2007.  It would place an eleven person independent commission to have authority over redistricting.  

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

Yes.  Single-member districts are required.

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

This legislation provides for six ranked priorities that the commission should use to determine the shape of the districts.  Complying with the Voting Rights Act is the second highest priority.   

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The California Judicial Council will select ten retired or sitting California Circuit or Appellate Judges, of which five must belong to the two largest political parties in the state to serve as panelists.  The panelists will nominate 55 people for the commissioner spots with 20 from each of the largest political parties in California and 15 not from one of the two largest political parties.  The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Floor leader of the Assembly will each strike two of the 55 nominees and then select 2 of the members from their own party to serve as commissioners.  The Fair Political Practices Committee will select the three non-partisan candidates by lot.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There are six goals the commission is instructed to use to determine the shape of districts and forming competitive districts is not one of those goals.   

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

Yes.  The commission will make map-creating software and census information available to members of the public who may then submit a plan to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  There is no provision in the legislation that would prevent mid-decade redistricting. 
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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