The IE Shapes California's Future
Though achieving an accurate Census count is important for a number of reasons, its role in determining electoral representation is arguably the most significant of them all. Here in the Inland Empire we are doing our part to ensure everyone is counted so that our region can be equitably represented, but there is even more we can do beyond that. The process of deciding how many seats a state will have within the House of Representatives is called reapportionment and the process of deciding how those seats will be divided is called redistricting. Congressional apportionment is handled by the Census Bureau, but state redistricting in California is done by residents.
There are a total of 435 seats within the United States House of Representatives. Every ten years, after Census results have been collected, the Census Bureau assigns one seat for every state in the nation and then divides the remaining seats proportionally based off of population totals. This updated allocation, or apportionment, must be reported to the President no later than December 31 of that Census year. Once the President has the apportionment numbers, he or she can inform each state of their updated totals for redistricting purposes.
Once states have received the total apportionment allocation, state appointed or elected representatives can begin redistricting. California currently has 53 United States Representatives in the House and 120 state legislatures; each of those representatives is elected by district. The federal government mandates that those districts be reevaluated every ten years after the Census, be nearly equal in size, and not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.
The process of redistricting varies by state. In most states the state legislators redraw the boundaries, some states do not redistrict at all because they only have one representative, but in California an independent commission of California residents draws the districts. This commission is in charge of drawing congressional and state legislative district lines.
Independent Redistricting Commission
California’s independent commission will be comprised of 14 individuals: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 belonging to neither party.
All representatives chosen for the independent commission must meet the following qualifications:
- Members must be a registered voter and a California resident since July 1st, 2015.
- Members must have voted in at least 2 of the last 3 statewide elections.
- Members cannot have switched party affiliation for at least five years.
- Neither members or their immediate family members can: a) have ran for state or congressional office in the last ten years; b) be a member of a political party central committee; c) an officer, employee, or consultant to a federal or state candidate or party; d) be a registered lobbyist or a paid legislative staff; or e) be a donor of more than 2,500 to an elected candidate.
- Neither members or their family members may be staff, consultants, or contractors for the state or federal government while serving as a commissioner
If you are interested in serving as a commissioner, please read the following to understand the process.
- The initial application period opens June 10, 2019 and closes August 9, 2019.
- The supplemental application period begins August 12, 2019 and closes September 11, 2019.
- The Applicant Review Panel (Panel) will review the applications and pick the 120 most qualified applicants to move forward to the interview process.
- Post interview, the top 60 applicants will be identified and moved forward in the process – 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans, and 20 others. Those top applicants will then be submitted to the California legislature. The legislature can remove up to 24 names.
- The Panel will randomly select 8 of the remaining candidates to participate in the commission, and those 8 will choose the final 6.
For more information about how to apply, please visit below.
Are you interested in being apart of California’s 2020 Independent Redistricting Commission? Please fill out the survey below!