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. 
June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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