SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the first eight members of California's 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) announced the final six members who will together serve on this 14-member Commission. As required by law, five of the members are registered Democrats, five are registered Republicans and four are registered as not affiliated with either of those two parties.
The commissioners selected today were among 35 eligible applicants who remained in the pool after legislative leaders, as required by law, exercised their strikes and eliminated 24 applicants from a pool of 60. The pool of 60 represented the most qualified applicants identified in May by an Applicant Review Panel. One applicant withdrew from the pool while the Legislature was reviewing the application materials. The State Auditor conducted a random drawing of the first eight commissioners from the pool on July 2, which consisted of three Democrats, three Republicans and two not affiliated with either of those two parties.
The final six commissioners selected are:
- Linda Akutagawa, No Party Preference
- Alicia Fernández, Republican
- Patricia Sinay, Democrat
- Pedro Toledo, No Party Preference
- Angela Vázquez, Democrat
- Russell Yee, Republican
These six commissioners along with the first eight members—Isra Ahmad (No Party Preference), Jane Andersen (Republican), Neal Fornaciari (Republican), J. Ray Kennedy (Democrat), Antonio Le Mons (No Party Preference), Sara Sadhwani (Democrat), Derric Taylor (Republican), and Trena Turner (Democrat)—will redraw the lines for California's Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, based on information gathered during the 2020 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide representation for all Californians.
"These first eight commissioners are to be commended for conducting their first meetings in a slightly untraditional manner due to the pandemic and for taking their responsibility of selecting the final six commissioners to heart," said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor "They were thoughtful, deliberative, open to public comments, and fully conscientious of ensuring the commission as a whole would be balanced and reflective of California, which is what Californians intended when they passed the Voters FIRST Act in 2008."
"As for my office, it's been a long journey—nearly two years—in carrying out our responsibilities in conducting outreach, implementing the application and selection process, and providing support to these first eight commissioners in selecting the final six," said Howle. "Further, my office will provide some administrative support to this new Commission until it is fully functional and, in fact, my office has been working very hard to get the Commission situated and staffed so that they can quickly be up and running on their own, as intended and mandated by law."
To reach the new commission, visit their website at WeDrawTheLines.ca.gov.
About the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission
Every ten years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters FIRST Act authorizing the creation of an independent Commission comprised of 14 members. As mandated by law, the 2020 Commission includes five Democrats, five Republicans, and four who are either registered without, or "independent" of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party.
For more information, please visit WeDrawTheLines.ca.gov.
SOURCE 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission