Business owners, business leaders and their employees have a unique once-in-a-decade opportunity to make their voices heard on how California is represented both in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
June 10 marked the first day that California citizens can begin submitting applications to join the state’s 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission. The deadline to apply is August 9, 2019.
The Commission, which is formed every 10 years, redraws the boundaries of California’s congressional, state Senate, state Assembly, and state Board of Equalization districts to reflect new federal census population data.
California voters passed the Voters First Act in 2008 (Proposition 11), authorizing the creation of the Citizens Redistricting Commission, and taking the job out of the hands of the Legislature and giving it to the citizens.
“The creation of the redistricting commission is yet another example of how we do things the California way,” said California Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Martin R. Wilson at the June 10 press event launching the Commission application period.
“Only three other states have a citizens commission like this, and in California it’s really not the politicians who choose the voters. Because of this commission process, gerrymandering is a relic of the past. Our citizens will choose their representatives,” Wilson said.
The CalChamber was an early supporter of Propositions 11 and 20—the two ballot measures that created the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
• Have been a registered voter since July 1, 2015;
• Have been registered with the same political party or no party preference (NPP) since July 1, 2015; and
• Voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections.
An applicant is ineligible to serve on the Commission if the applicant has a conflict of interest as defined by the Voters First Act within the 10 years before submitting an application.
The conflicts resulting in ineligibility include the applicant or an immediate family member having: served or been a candidate for congressional or state elective office; been an officer, employee or paid consultant for a California political party; been a paid consultant for a candidate for California congressional or elective state office; or been a registered lobbyist.
California citizens must submit their application to the California State Auditor’s Office by August 9, 2019. Applicants who are invited to advance in the selection process will be asked to submit a supplemental application containing additional information about their qualifications. An Applicant Review Panel will then review all applicants and select 120 of the most qualified people to interview.
From the pool of 120 individuals, 60 applicants (composed of 20 Republicans, 20 Democrats and 20 other or NPP) will then be presented to four legislative leaders for review. The final pool of applicants will then be sent to the State Auditor, who will randomly select the first eight commission members, and then those first eight commissioners will select the final six members for the commission.
The 14-member 2020 Commission will be established no later than August 15, 2020. The Commission will be comprised of five members who are Democrat, five members who are Republican, and four members who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party.
To apply for the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission, visit apply.shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov.