California’s 60 Finalists for Redistricting Commission a Diverse Group

Fellow, Rose Institute of State and Local Government

Just minutes ago, California’s Applicant Review Panel completed
its work selecting its pool of 60 finalists for California’s first-ever
Citizens Redistricting Commission. The pool, consisting of 20
Democratic applicants, 20 Republicans, and 20 "others," now advance to the Legislative Strikes phase of the selection process.

The 60 finalists are a diverse group. In
the battle of educational institutions, the UC system beat out the Cal
State system 33 to 13. Ivy Leagues schools have 9 finalists, USC has 6,
Standford has 5 and our sister institution Claremont Graduate
University has two. (Some applicants graduated from more than one
college or university, and are thus counted more than once).

In terms of income, one applicant reported earning less than $35,000
last year, 9 earned between $35,000 and $75,000, 20 earned between
$75,000 and $125,000, 22 earned between $125,000 and $250,000, and 8
earned more than $250,000.

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Diversity and the CA Redistricting Commission

Fellow, Rose Institute of State and Local Government

On Tuesday, California’s Applicant Review Panel sits down to narrow the pool of remaining applicants. The Panel’s
responsibility, under the regulations adopted by the State Auditor, include ensuring the final pool reasonably reflects California’s
complex diversity.

As stated in Proposition 11, California’s diversity
is defined as "including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic,
geographic, and gender." The ARP’s June 11th decisions, which reduced the pool to its current 622 applicants, were done based
on individual evaluations of each applicant. As it reduces the pool
from 622 down to the 120 people it will invite for interviews, the Panel is expected to begin looking at the pool as more of a group.

Earlier postings evaluated the overall demographics of the pool of 622. Yet the Panel’s
decisions are more accurately evaluated by looking within each of the
three separate pools: Democrats, Republicans, and Others. The Rose
Institute acquired the full database of applicants (through a public
records request) and analyzed the demographics of each pool. The
results indicate the opportunities and challenges facing the ARP.

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California leads “Redistricting In America”

Fellow, Rose Institute of State and Local Government

California’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission
represents the only redistricting system in the nation that entirely separates
redistricting from legislative influence. California’s unique status is
detailed in "Redistricting in America," a new report I co-authored
with Ian Johnson and David Meyer for the Rose Institute of State and Local
Government at Claremont McKenna College. The report details the congressional
and legislative redistricting processes in all fifty states.

The problem of gerrymandering is not a new one. In fact, it
predates the infamous 1812 partisan redistricting overseen by Massachusetts
Governor Elbridge Gerry that gave the practice its name. Our research uncovered
the story of then-Virginia Governor Patrick Henry’s 1788 congressional
districting plan that unsuccessfully attempted to deny James Madison a seat in
Congress. More recently, Californians will recall the 1981 plan that linked
Vallejo to a San Francisco congressional district using nothing but the waters
of the San Francisco Bay (the voters rejected that plan in a 1982 referendum).

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