California Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business
A couple years ago, I was talking to a small business owner who was venting his frustration about California’s broken political system: “Why should I get involved when my voice doesn’t even count?” I promised him at the time that the wheels were in motion to enact reforms in the state that would finally allow us to hold our politicians accountable. Part of those reforms, voter-approved Propositions 11 and 20, created the Citizens Redistricting Commission so politicians will no longer be in charge of drawing election districts to protect their jobs and the jobs of their friends. With fair election districts, politicians will actually have no choice but to listen to voters’ voices or lose their jobs.
The 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission has just completed their work on legislative, Board of Equalization and congressional district maps. And, as promised to voters who approved redistricting reforms, the redistricting process was undertaken in fully-noticed public meetings throughout the state, allowing for, and welcoming, community input. Much of the proceedings, including the Commission selection process, were also provided for public viewing online. The National Federation of Business/California and our members around the state were involved throughout the process, providing input and recommendations. Last week, the final maps were approved by a diverse group of Commissioners with nearly unanimous votes.