With the release of new population data from last year’s decennial Census, district lines within states will now have to be redrawn so that every district is roughly equal in population size and, as a result, each person is equally represented in governemnt. This process of redistricting will figuratively and literally shape the conditions within which we work and live, affecting all levels of government from local school boards and city councils to state legislatures and the United House of Representatives for the decade to come.
Unfortunately, redistricting has proved less straightforward and less fair than we might hope for in a representative democracy. Section 2 and Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, in fact, were specifically written to address prevalent partisan and discriminatory redistricting practices.
Below are two resources, a website and a guide, that each serve as primers on what redistricting is and what the responsibilities are of us, of elected officials and, in California, of redistricting commissions to ensure a just and equitable redrawing of political lines. We hope you’ll take the time to learn more and participate in the process where possible.