Welcome to the April edition of the 2020 Citizen Redistricting Commission’s monthly newsletter. We continue to pay close attention to announcements from the Census Bureau regarding the timeline for release of the census results. The next important announcement from the Census Bureau, the release of “apportionment data”, is expected at the end of this month – but that will only tell us how many seats California will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. We will have to wait a bit longer for the actual detailed “redistricting data” that we will use in developing our maps. Despite the uncertainties about when we will receive the data we need, we continue to make good progress towards our ultimate objective of submitting maps based on broad public input, and this newsletter serves as one of our many efforts to ensure the transparency of the redistricting process.
We are hiring additional staff as we ramp up outreach to include every Californian in the redistricting process. We welcome you to join our team as we make history once again as one of the nation’s few independent redistricting commissions.
My colleagues and I have been actively engaging communities throughout the state through our Redistricting Basics presentations. As of the end of March, we’ve delivered 33 presentations and already have 37 more scheduled. Let us know if you’d like to host a Commissioner for an educational session. They can range from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your group’s schedule. We also now have a committee working on designing our public input meetings, which we plan to kick off this summer.
For the first time in the Commission’s history, we have an online tool that helps you provide input directly to the Commission about your Communities of Interest (COI). The COI tool is live and available in twelve languages, with more on the horizon.
We are happy to announce the selection of our line drawing team, who will assist the Commission translate your input into physical maps. While the Commissioners will ultimately make the decisions on where the final lines go, we will depend on our line drawing team to support us and to make the actual maps a reality.
Lastly, please join us on Zoom for one of our upcoming meetings. Your input is valuable and always welcome!
While the numbers of seats in the California State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization are fixed, the number of seats California has in the U.S. House of Representatives is determined once a decade based on the results of the most recent census through a process called “apportionment”.
The Census Bureau announced on January 28, 2021, that it expected to complete the apportionment counts by April 30, 2021. The Bureau will deliver those to the President, who will transmit them to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Clerk will then inform each Governor how many seats their state will have in future Congresses. To learn more about apportionment, visit https://www.census.gov/topics/public-sector/congressional-apportionment/about.html.
The Commission staff is growing. We are currently hiring for Chief Counsel, Director of Outreach, and four Field Team Leads. To learn more about these opportunities and to apply, visit our website at: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/jobs_contracting.
The Commission seeks a Chief Counsel with demonstrated experience and expertise in implementation and enforcement of Administrative or Constitutional law, combined with the background and knowledge to support the Commission’s redistricting mission. The applicant should be a creative problem-solver with strong communication, negotiation, and relationship building skills. A strong candidate for this position will have a background in the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act requirements and experience advising public commissions, boards, agencies or departments.
DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH
The Commission seeks a Director of Outreach to provide leadership in the development and execution of the Commission’s strategic community outreach plan, including oversight and direct responsibility for initiatives to achieve the Commission’s goals and objectives for carrying out a robust outreach plan. The applicant should be a creative problem-solver with strong communication and relationship building skills. A strong candidate for this position will have a demonstrated background in public outreach programs to solicit broad public participation.
FIELD TEAM LEAD (4)
The Commission seeks four Field Staff positions including a Northern California Lead, Central California Lead and two Southern California Leads, to support the Commission’s public outreach and engagement activities. The Field Staff Lead candidates should demonstrate strong communication and organizing experience, combined with the background and knowledge to support the Commission’s redistricting mission. The applicant should be knowledgeable about the local and regional communities in the region they are applying for. A strong candidate for this position will possess the skills to be a good collaborator and relationship builder for the Commission.
Commissioners have been busy at work letting Californians know about the redistricting process and how to get involved through a series of Redistricting Basics presentations. These virtual presentations cover the Voters FIRST Act, which created the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, as well as the importance of achieving fair representation through active participation of Californians from all parts of the state.
To schedule a presentation for your group, please fill out the form at https://forms.gle/MvaEDiPLRww4KVxy8.
The Commission will also be organizing public presentations on Zoom this month. An English-language presentation is scheduled for April 20, while a Spanish-language presentation is scheduled for April 26. Please check our website for more details: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org.
Upcoming and past presentations can be found on the Commission website, under the Outreach Calendar tab, including video recordings and registration links. Click here: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/outreach_calendar.
The Communities of Interest (COI) mapping tool was recently made available in Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Armenian, Japanese, Punjabi, and Khmer, in addition to the existing languages (English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Tagalog). It will soon be available in Arabic and Farsi, and work will then begin on Thai and Hmong.
The online public input tool allows Californians to tell the Commission what is important about their community, alert us to which neighboring communities they want to be grouped with, and draw their community on a map and submit it directly to the Commission as public input. This tool can be accessed by visiting: DrawMyCACommunity.org. We are also working on a paper COI Tool form which will be available to the public.
The Commission recently announced the approval of HaystaqDNA and Q2 Data & Research, LLC as the contractors selected to assist in the professional and technical drawing of district lines. The Commission is tasked with mapping new districts based on the 2020 Census data in conformity with strict, non-partisan rules put in place to ensure fair representation for all Californians. HaystaqDNA and Q2 Data & Research, LLC served as technical consultants to the Arizona and California independent redistricting commissions, respectively, in 2011.
Read the press release here: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/commission_announces_line_drawing_contract.
Commissioners have approved these upcoming April meetings for the Commission, the Legal Affairs Committee, and the Public Input Meeting Design Committee. Please mark your calendars and join us for our upcoming meetings. A full list of meetings can be found here: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/meetings.
April 12 – April 13, 2021 Meetings
2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission Meetings – 1:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. daily or upon conclusion of business
April 14, 2021 Meeting
Legal Affairs Committee Meeting – 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. or upon conclusion of business
April 14, 2021 Meeting
Public Input Meeting Design Committee – 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. or upon conclusion of business
April 17, 2021 Workshop
Line Drawer Workshop – 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. or upon conclusion of workshop
April 20, 2021 Meetings
Redistricting Basics Presentation - 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 P.M.
Public Input Meeting Design Committee – 4:00 P.M. – 7:15 P.M. daily or upon conclusion of business
April 26 – April 27, 2021 Meetings
2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission Meeting – April 26, 2021 - 9:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. daily or upon conclusion of business
2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission Meeting – April 27, 2021 - 1:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. daily or upon conclusion of business
April 28, 2021 Meeting
Public Input Design Committee Meeting – 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. or upon conclusion of business
This month, we introduce you to Isra Ahmad, a No Party Preference Commissioner from San Jose, CA. She currently serves as a Senior Research & Evaluation Specialist with Santa Clara County’s Division of Equity and Social Justice. In this role, she leads the intersectional research efforts across the seven different offices within the Division: Offices of Women’s Policy, Immigrant Relations, Cultural Competency, Labor Standard Enforcement, LGBTQ Affairs, 2020 Census, and Gender-Based Violence Prevention.
Learn more about Commissioner Ahmad here: https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/isra_ahmad.
California Citizens Redistricting Commission
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