Two commissioners from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Vince Barabba from Capitola and Connie Galambos Malloy from Alameda, appeared on Forum today, discussing their work and some of the criticism that is already being thrown their way.
The process of congressional redistricting, also called reapportionment, has traditionally functioned largely as a means of protecting the interests of whichever state political party is in power. In most states, after every census, legislators draw up the new boundary lines of each district. In doing so, they have the power to lump together different populations that may share no other commonality than voting patterns helpful to the majority party's nominee.
In California, however, the passage of Proposition 20 completed the transfer of redistricting power from the political parties to an ostensibly non-partisan commission.
We caught up with the commissioners today in the KQED green room and asked them what the criteria are for drawing the state's new political boundaries, including what the term "communities of interest" -- one of the new mandates for grouping people together -- means.