Let redistricting proceed, no tweaks needed

For more information on the task at hand for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, go to http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov.

In 2008, the voters of California took redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature and gave it to a nonpartisan, 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Basically, voters took a stand against gerrymandering and gave authority to draw boundary lines for state legislative districts (and Board of Equalization districts) to an independent commission.

Note: The commission hasn’t been formed yet; its members haven’t even been selected.

Now along comes Proposition 20, an attempt on the November ballot to extend the reach of this commission by giving it power to draw congressional lines as well.

Hmm. The group’s ability to represent the citizens of California in its redistricting task hasn’t been put to the test yet … and we want to extend its power? What’s wrong with this picture? Also, there are significant concerns about the dangers of reforming how lines are drawn for congressional districts which have high stakes and involve California’s ability to be fully represented at the national level. Obviously, these worries don’t exist when it comes to redistricting for state offices. So we recommend a “no” vote on this measure.

This brings us to Proposition 27, kind of the opposite of Proposition 20 in that it seeks to dissolve the commission before we’ve gotten a chance to see if it can work. This cynical measure deserves a “no” vote as well. Let’s let redistricting in California proceed apace for legislative districts and see where we want to go from there. No on 20 and 27.