Editorial: Why L.A. needs independent redistricting
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With an election just a year away, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is poised to vote on one of the nation’s thorniest issues in redistricting.
The board will vote whether or not to join the other jurisdictions of Los Angeles and Orange counties, including Pasadena, in redistricting the state for the first time since at least 1870.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Supervisor Hilda Solis introduced an initiative last year calling for a constitutional amendment to call for independent redistricting. The measure passed Tuesday, a few weeks after they had made their case to voters in an online petition drive launched by the League of Women Voters and the California Voter Foundation.
“We’re excited about the initiative,” said Kuehl, who is a Democrat and the chairwoman of the board. “We’re also excited about the support that is coming from across the state.”
The measure would create a commission on redistricting that would be headed by an elected supervisor and appointed by the boards of the other local jurisdictions.
“It will be the first in the country that will have an elected supervisor and an appointed commissioner,” said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, D-Turlock, who sponsored the measure.
Los Angeles County has already established an elected commission on redistricting, but it’s made up of only two members. Supervisor Hilda Solis serves as the chairwoman.
Solis said last year’s effort to get a redistricting commission came from the same people who formed the California Redistricting Commission, which was established after a federal court found that gerrymandering of state legislative districts violated the federal Constitution. The court ordered the board redraw legislative districts every decade to limit the influence of politics in elections.
Supervisor Hilda Solis, left, is the lead author of both measures to create a commission on redistricting. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
The board would not have to vote on the proposal but would have to get approval from the other 10 subdivisions, which would be represented by their own elected boards to create a commission. The 10 local jurisdictions are all part of the California Redistricting Commission but are not voting members.
The other jurisdictions are, in alphabetical order: Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Carlos, Whittier, Glendora, Pomona, Pom