SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The first eight members on California's first Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) selected the final six who will together serve on this 14-member commission yesterday afternoon. As required by the Voters First Act, five of the members are registered Democrats, five are registered Republicans and four are registered either as Decline-to-State or with another party.
The Commissioners were part of the 36 eligible applicants who remained in the sub-pools after the legislative leaders, as required by law, exercised their strikes and eliminated the names of 24 applicants from the pool of 60 of the most qualified applicants identified on September 23, 2010 by the State Auditor's Applicant Review Panel (Panel). The Panel reviewed and evaluated the applicants based on criteria set forth by the Voters FIRST Act approved by voters in November 2008; including relevant analytical skills, the ability to be impartial; and a demonstrated appreciation for California's diverse demographics and geography.
"I am humbled that voters entrusted my office with the very important job of establishing the first Citizens Redistricting Commission," said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor. "I trust that we fulfilled our responsibilities as they expected as we conducted our work in a thorough and transparent manner. I am honored to have been part of this historic process and look forward to watching the Commission work together to accomplish the important task of redrawing the State and Congressional district lines."
The final six commissioners selected are:
Gabino Aguirre, Democrat, Ventura County
Maria Blanco, Democrat, Los Angeles County
Michelle DiGuilio-Matz, Decline-to-State, San Joaquin County
Lilbert "Gil" R. Ontai, Republican, San Diego County
M. Andre Parvenu, Decline-to-State, Los Angeles County
Michael Ward, Republican, Orange County
They, with the first eight members— Vincent Barabba, Cynthia Dai, Jodie Filkins Webber, Stanley Forbes, Connie Galambos Malloy, Elaine Kuo, Jeanne Raya, Peter Yao—will redraw the lines for California's State Senate, Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts as well as the Congressional districts, based on information gathered during the 2010 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules that will provide representation for all Californians.
As the State Auditor's role in the process comes to an end, the Secretary of State's Office is set to assist the commission. Pursuant to the Voters FIRST Act, the Secretary of State will begin providing support functions to the commission until its staff and office are fully functional. However, the phone number to reach the commission, (866) 356-5217, and the website, www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov, remain the same. On the website, you will find job announcements for executive director, chief counsel, communications officer and administrative assistant positions that the commission is seeking to fill as expeditiously as possible.
Both the video and transcripts of all meetings – including this public meeting– are available at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov. For more information please visit the Web site, or if you have questions, please call (866) 356-5217.
SOURCE California State Auditor's Office