Please vote yes on Prop 20 and no on 27.
Passing Prop 20 gives the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission the crucial additional authority to draw up Congressional Districts (of which California has 53). It extends the authority of Prop 11 (passed in 2008), which gave an independent group of citizens the responsibility to redistrict State Legislator Districts. Districts are redrawn after every 10-year census, and will be redrawn with the recent 2010 Census.
So, this is timely! Prop 20 provides for fairly and evenly drawn up districts, which means that we can elect officials who best represent the needs of our communities at both the state and national levels.
The opposite course of action is Prop 27, which would revoke Prop 11 and disassemble the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Returning to the old rules means that politicians, influenced by consultants and donors, will once again draw their own district lines. While they might talk about creating communities of interest, they are more concerned in drawing lines that benefit their interests. As a result, there is a big push to revoke Prop 11 and return the power to draw election districts to politicians in Sacramento, which in my opinion, only increases the likelihood of gerrymandering.
I saw how gerrymandering could be a threat personally, when my Santa Barbara neighborhood successfully battled against a proposed UUAD (Underground Utility Assessment District). While I did not need or want the planned “improvements,” my property was drawn into the district so my money would be drawn in as well. Those neighbors who drew up the potential UUAD district worked to procure my participation and that of my immediate neighbors so that we would be forced to share the cost of their utility undergrounding.
Now, we have a chance to diminish gerrymandering on a much larger scale, in our Congressional representation in Washington, DC, by approving Prop 20. Fairly redrawn districts under Prop 20 mean that we will be able to elect officials who will respond appropriately to the needs of the “true community,” not one that is artificially constructed.
Prop 20 is critical to fair government. The California Chamber of Commerce, AARP, and many newspapers throughout California, as well as the Wall Street Journal have come out in favor of Prop 20.
If you agree, please encourage others to say Yes on Prop 20 and No on Prop 27.