08/05/2019 by Nadine Ono
California extends deadline to apply for spot on citizens redistricting commission
Polling place in San Francisco (Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr)
California is extending the deadline by two weeks to apply to serve on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission, California State Auditor Elaine Howle announced Monday. The original deadline date was this Friday, but now Californians have until Monday, August 19 to submit their applications.
Howle cited the recent surge of applications, almost 4,000 in the last week, for the extension. Currently, more than 14,000 people have applied to serve on the 14-member commission. Another reason for the deadline extension was to increase the number of women and minority applicants.
“We really looked at what the statistics were telling us and it was telling us we need to really ramp up more of our outreach in the various minority communities, trying to get more women to apply,” said Howle. “In seeing 4,000 people applying the last week was significant enough, in addition to discussions with our coalition partners where they’re really feeling like they’re getting some momentum in the last couple of weeks, So we don’t want them to get cut off by the end of the this week.”
The current applicant pool is 59 percent men to 40 percent women as well as 64 percent white, 14 percent Hispanic/Latino, 8 percent Black/African American, 7 percent Asian Pacific Islander, 6 percent “other” and 1 percent American Indian/Native American.
The 14 members of the 2020 Citizens redistricting Commission will include five Democrats, five Republicans four who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The Commission is responsible for redrawing district maps after the 2020 census.
California voters approved the Voters FIRST Act (Prop. 11) in 2008, creating the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) that took from legislators the power to draw the lines of their own districts. California Forward and the California Forward Action Fund were strong supporters of this reform and also helped with outreach efforts to make sure there was a qualified and diverse pool of applicants.
“It’s so important, not only for our state, but I think continuing to have California serve as a role model for the rest of the country about how this should be done and putting the power into the hands of the people,” added Howle.
Visit shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov to apply.