Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Needed to Apply for California’s New Redistricting Commission – Deadline Feb 12th

The East Bay Asian Voter Education Consortium (EBAVEC) is outreaching to the API community regarding the citizen’s commission that will be in charge of redistricting in 2011.

As of now, the “California redistricting commission may have no people of color” warned an op-ed by Pete Carrillo of Silicon Valley Advisors and Orson Aguilar of the Greenlining Institute published Jan. 16 in the San Jose Mercury News.

An Associated Press article on Jan. 26 highlighted the low numbers:ยท

So far, fewer than a quarter of the applications … are from minority candidates in a state where non-Hispanic whites make up less than half the population.

  • “Hispanics make up fewer than 9 percent of the applicants, although they count for almost 37 percent of the state’s population.”
  • “Barely over 4 percent of the applicants are Asians, who make up more than 12 percent of the state’s population …”
  • “The proportion of tentatively eligible black applicants, about 7 percent, is roughly on par with that group’s 6 percent share of the population …”

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Please spread the word and encourage your family and friends to also apply. Check out http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/ for more info

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Needed to Apply for California’s New Redistricting Commission – Deadline to Apply Is February 12, 2010

Every ten years, we draw new district maps for Congress, the California legislature, county boards of supervisors, and city councils. When we redraw the maps every ten years, we change the boundaries so that each district contains the same number of people. This process is called redistricting.

The next time redistricting will happen is in 2011, and because California voters passed Proposition 11 in 2008, there will be a major change in who draws the maps. Proposition 11 creates a new commission made up of citizens. In 2011, the commission will draw new maps for the state legislature and Board of Equalization. Before Proposition 11, the state legislature drew these maps.

Why does this matter? In past redistrictings, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have been fragmented by district boundaries. For example, in the 2001 redistricting, the San Jose neighborhood of Berryessa was split among four State Assembly districts, even though over half of Berryessa’s population is AAPI.District boundaries that split AAPI communities like this weaken the political voice of AAPI communities. When AAPI communities are fragmented, they do not make up a significant portion of any one district. This diminishes their ability to get their elected representatives to address their needs.The commission will play an important role in determining whether AAPI communities are again fragmented unfairly in 2011, or instead kept whole. To make sure that the commission takes AAPI communities into account, we need the right people on the commission – individuals who are civic-minded, come from diverse backgrounds, and understand community needs.

Who will be on the commission?
The commission will have 14 members who are selected from people who apply to be on the commission.
The application process is open to the public. Anyone can apply as long as they meet the minimum requirements to be on the commission, such as being a registered voter and having voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections (November 2004, November 2006, and November 2008). There are also some rules that exclude some people from being eligible for commission if they have a so-called conflict of interest, as well as some restrictions on the future political activities of individuals once they are appointed to the commission.

What will the commission do? The commission will hold public meetings across California to listen to testimony from residents about their communities and neighborhoods. Based on data it gathers, the commission will draw new district maps for the State Assembly, State Senate, and the Board of Equalization (an elected state tax agency).The commissioners are paid $300 per day when doing commission business. The main period of activity for the commission will be from January 2011 to September 2011. The commissioners can expect to work between 10 to 40 hours per week.

The deadline to apply for the commission is February 12, 2010. You can find more information about the commission and the application process at http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/.

What can you do to help? You may be the right person for the commission – or you may know someone who is. The East Bay Asian Voter Education Consortium (EBAVEC) can be a resource for you – they are working with a statewide network of AAPI organizations to help people learn more about the commission and how to apply.

Please check the website for eligibility: http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/downloads/eligibility_requirements.pdf

Upcoming workshops include:

Date: Saturday February 6th, from 2:00-4:00pm
Location: East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC)2025 East 12th StreetOakland, CA 94606
Please RSVP to Jennifer Pae at jennpae@gmail.com.

To see a list of other workshops and learn more about the network, you can go to www.facebook.com/capafr2011.If you have suggestions for people who might be good applicants for the commission, please contact EBAVEC or APALC at redistricting@apalc.org.

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