The deadline has now officially passed to apply for membership of the first redistricting commission. While the deadline was originally extended due to fears about the lack of diversity apparent in the applicant pool, the extension did little to deter the disproportionate number of white males. The Capital Alert reports, “Of the nearly 31,000 applications received by candidates for the redistricting commission, whites submitted 70 percent, far higher than their 41 percent share of California's population.” Overall, both Latinos and Asians are greatly underrepresented in the pool of applicants, but ultimately only 14 people will make up the commission. There will be five Republicans, five Democrats, and four members that are from neither party and it is hoped that when the auditor’s office begins to cut the list down to 60 by October, the 60 candidates will represent the state’s diversity. When it comes to choosing the final 14, eight will be random and a panel will chose the final six based on racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity.
While the redistricting commission was enacted by voters who passed Proposition 11, several Democratic leaders are committed to an initiative that would return redistricting privileges to the Legislature (as reported here).
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