Redistricting Case Before the Supreme Court: Will of the People in the Balance

Justice Anthony Kennedy of California is the key to the Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission case heard before the Supreme Court this week.  Sitting in the Supreme Court on Monday, I think he asked questions that suggest he is in the middle and could go either way. John Myers of KQED, veteran California politics […]

Meaningful Strides Forward on Initiative Reform

I’d like to go on the record and say I agree wholeheartedly with Joe Mathews that SB 1253, the Ballot Initiative Transparency Act introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, certainly does deserve more attention [“Very Small Steps Forward on Ballot Initiative System,” May 20]. To be sure, California’s decades old initiative process is […]

The Redistricting Commission is Doing its Job

While there has been recent grousing in the media regarding the
California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission, let’s not forget the
reasons we voted for the initiatives that that proposed creating the
commission in the first place. Before California passed Prop. 11 and 20,
legislators drew their own district lines, often dividing neighborhoods
or groups of people in ways that benefitted their own electoral needs.

Politicians would neglect the public concerns of their home communities
and make back door deals based on their personal desires to stay in
office. This old practice of political gerrymandering suppressed civic
participation in an important democratic process.

By contrast, the Citizens Commission has already successfully engaged the
public in a manner that has never been done before – with thousands of
people turning out to speak or write to the Commission about their