Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

California

Process

Independent Redistricting Commission

California's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The commission was established after the passage of California Proposition 11, or the Voters First Act, in 2008 for state legislative districts, and Proposition 20 in 2010 for congressional districts. The commission consists of 14 members: five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents or voters affiliated with another party.

Members of the commission are selected through a rigorous process. Initial and supplemental applications, due in late 2019, were reviewed by the Applicant Review Panel (ARP). After selecting and conducting interviews with the 120 most qualified candidates by May 2020, the ARP narrowed the pool down to 60, divided evenly across party affiliations. The Legislature then had until the end of June to remove up to 24 applicants. On July 2, 2020, the State Auditor randomly selected the first eight commissioners from the remaining list, and these eight will themselves select the final six. Of these first eight, none were Latinx in a state with a substantial Latinx population. However, on August 7, these eight chose six more commissioners, four of whom identified as Latinx, alleviating concerns about lack of representation.

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, California’s state constitution (Art. XXI § 2) requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, and preserve communities of interest, defined as “a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.” Consideration of partisan data is prohibited except where required by federal law, as is favoring or disfavoring an incumbent, candidate for office, or political party.

In 2011, California passed AB 420, ending the practice of prison gerrymandering and reassigning currently incarcerated populations to their last-known place of residence for the purpose of redistricting.

Public Input

Throughout the process, the Commission must receive broad public input through an open hearing process, both before and after drafting district maps (Cal. Gov’t Code § 8253(a)(7)). In the 2011 redistricting cycle, the Commission held 34 public meetings in which more than 2,700 people participated, with an additional 20,000 written comments submitted. Following the state Supreme Court’s approval of a four-month redistricting delay, a similar public input process is likely in 2021.

Issues

Partisan Influence

There may be concerns about partisan influence in the Commission’s public input process. In December 2011, ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization, published a story alleging that the California Democratic Party manipulated the Commission by enlisting testimony during public hearings. The Commission issued a formal response, acknowledging the inevitability of partisan interests but denying any undue influence. Such partisan allegations may resurface in 2021.

Congressional Seats

Based upon a recent estimate of congressional seat changes following the 2020 census, California is estimated to lose one congressional seat.

Census Delays

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. While California’s state constitution and statutes typically set the final plans deadline on August 15, 2021 and the public display deadline on July 1, 2021, the state Supreme Court unanimously granted a one-time extension on July 17, 2020 in light of the extraordinary circumstances.

History

In the 2011 redistricting cycle, there were concerns about the demographic makeup of the Redistricting Commission. Initially, 74% of the applicants by mid-January were white, raising worries about minority underrepresentation. However, of the 14 members ultimately selected, just three self-identified as white. On the other end of the spectrum, the plaintiffs in Connerly v. California essentially challenged affirmative action in the selection process for the commission, as state statutes (Cal. Gov’t Code § 8253(g)) specify that the appointees “shall be chosen to ensure the commission reflects this state’s diversity.” The lawsuit argued that this violates Proposition 209, which prohibits preferential treatment on the basis of race or sex in public employment. The state Superior Court dismissed the lawsuit.

In terms of legal challenges to the redistricting plans themselves, the California Supreme Court denied all cases.

Actions

Participate in the Commission’s public input process.

  • Obtain California redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy once the commission starts collecting feedback.
  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by independent redistricting commission
State Boundaries: Drawn by independent redistricting commission
Legislative Control: Democratic
Governor's Political Party: Democratic
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020