Redistricting collaborative meets
New maps still pose problems
The process of redrawing the political lines for congressional, as well as the state assembly, senate and Board of Equalization districts is winding down, and the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) now awaits comments from the public on the final preliminary maps.
CRC will vote on the maps Aug. 15.
The African American Redistricting Collaborative will hold a meeting this evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the West Angeles Villas to discuss the maps, answer questions and provide direction on what comments residents should forward to the commission.
“We feel like the general framework for preserving African American representation in the state of California is there; that’s the positive. However, there are still several problems with the map,” said Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president and CEO of the Community Coalition (CoCo), which is a collaborative member.
Among the problems Harris-Dawson identified are the exclusion of Vermont Knolls from the district that includes the LAX Airport.
“The ramifications of this are unclear, but Vermont Knolls has always been in the district with the airport. And when it comes time to negotiate with the FAA and other authorities around noise and pollution (caused by the airport), you have leverage as a resident and constituent with a member representing you in Congress. If you take that away, you have less leverage and less negotiating power,” said the CoCo president, who noted that South Los Angeles and Inglewood have some of the best pollution and noise mitigations in place nationwide. He thinks that might not continue, if everyone with that common interest is not in the same district.
In addition to Vermont Knolls, Harris-Dawson said the collaborative is concerned that the inclusion of some 100,000 Torrance residents in a district with Inglewood will change the inclination of that area from progressive to more conservative. That may not bode well for the election of candidates like Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Torrance was one of the few cities where Kamala Harris did not win in the County of Los Angeles.
We look at this as really an assault on the progressive character of what used to be the 35th congressional district,” Harris-Dawson said.
The old 35th congressional district, which is now the new 43rd, is the most radically different among the districts in which African Americans have traditional won elections.
According to a new visualization pre-map published last weekend by the California Redistricting Commission, (CRC), South Los Angeles and Malibu have enough in common that they should be lumped together into one voting district.
That bombshell was released last weekend on the web site www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov, and has the African American community reeling and fuming.
The African American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC) will hold a press conference today at 10 a.m. at the California African America Museum in Exposition Park to discuss the latest developments in redrawing legislative boundaries. The AARC’s press advisory notes that it “... is convening a press conference to declare the African American community’s refusal to accept any reduction in political representation.”
The community is analyzing and evaluating redistricting maps on Saturday June 11 from 2- 4 p.m. in a community conversation held at West Los Angeles Villas, 6030 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles.
Together the residents of the community are going to review the first draft of state senate, assembly, congressional and Board of Equalization maps that the Citizens Redistricting Commission has proposed, to ensure that the districts are split in a way that allows proper representation in Sacramento and Washington D.C.
It is down to the wire and leaders in the African American community continue to remain vigilant about the redistricting effort being conducted by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC).
In fact, this past weekend, a pitched battle ensued as some of the commissioners attempted to condense all of the African American districts into one.
Proposition 20 is a ballot measure that if passed, will remove elected representatives of the state legislature from the process of establishing congressional districts and transfer that authority to a recently-authorized 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission.
The commission is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four voters registered with neither party, and requires that any newly-proposed district lines be approved by nine commissioners including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from neither party.