Resolution - Against ‘California First’ Redistricting Initiative
While the California redistricting process is in need of reform, the “California First” initiative is a fatally flawed initiative that does not accurately reflect the stat’s partisan diversity and similarly prejudices minorities and Democrats registration by using a biased ranking system that ensures an increased number of Republican legislative seats. Additionally, the complicated method for choosing members of the newly created Citizen’s Redistricting Commission further confuses this already complicated process
WHEREAS; the redistricting initiative’s criteria could directly affect compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protects under-represented and minority groups from discrimination in the electoral process, and
WHEREAS, this initiative would increase the difficulty of organizing and coordinating public hearings, particularly in the low-income, working-class communities; and
WHEREAS, the initiative would create a confusing process for appointing commission members that would not ensure accountability, diversity, or expertise; and
WHEREAS, this initiative would create a system that could encourage impasse, which would automatically send the redistricting plan to the courts; and
WHEREAS, the timeline for the initiative starts much too late, and will hamper the commissioner’s abilities to come up with good, practical plans; and
WHEREAS, the commissions size is only fourteen members, time causing worry concerning their ability to fully represent the diversity of California; and
WHEREAS, the provisions placed within the initiative that would try addressing conflicts of interest would actually discourage respectable, competent citizens from serving; and
WHEREAS, the Commission will have specific seats reserved for members of specific political parties, with Democrats having an equal number of seats as Republicans wherein the state’s electorate has 1/3 more Democrats that Republicans; and
WHEREAS, a never-before used redistricting criteria of “geographic compactness” requires that redistricting map “shall be drawn” with this standard will further suppress Democrats performance by consolidating Democratic voters, and now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the “California First” initiative will not give the diverse people of California equal voice, and thus violating its supposed primary mission; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that it will not fairly represent our diverse state and in fact undermines our diversity, political and ethnic, and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, California LULAC opposes the California First redistricting initiative.
Approved this 12th day of July 2008.