If you’re interested in California redistricting and transparency, please read and share this freelance opinion piece published in the Sacramento Bee on July 14, 2021. Below is an excerpt.
California redistricting board must stop meeting privately to prove democracy still works
By Cynthia Dai and Jodie P. Filkins
Cynthia Dai, a Democrat, and Jodie P. Filkins Webber, a Republican, served together on the 2010 California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission.
In November 2008, Californians took a bold step to eliminate partisan gerrymandering and foster a stronger democracy by establishing an independent citizens commission.
The Voters First Act stripped the power of redistricting away from self-interested politicians, putting citizens free from conflicts of interest in charge and moving the decision-making process from behind closed doors into an open forum in collaboration with the public.
Ten years ago, we had the honor of leading that process as members of the inaugural California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Despite our different partisan affiliations, we conducted the redistricting process in a fair, accessible and, above all else, transparent way.
With a new commission seated and census data on the way, 14 other Californians will redraw congressional and legislative districts for the next decade. As the first commissioners, we have shared our experiences to help guide the new line drawers — a benefit we never enjoyed.
Our message to the current commissioners is simple: Stop the closed-door discussions and recommit yourselves to true transparency in this process….. www.sacbee.com/...