In 2008, Proposition 11 stripped the power to draw redistricting lines from the State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization and gave it to a separate board of 14 commissioners chosen by government auditors consisting of five Democrats, five Republicans and four of neither party. Proposition 20 extends that authority to the congressional districts as well, leaving no room for any part of the legislature to tamper with political boundaries for their advantage.
Redistricting is an initiative set in attempt to represent everyone in the state accurately and fairly. It is done usually as a result of the census taken every 10 years and applies to the State Senate, Assembly, and Congress.
Imaginary “political boundaries” are drawn based on similar aspects shared by people living in any one community so people of that community may have their concerns heard statewide. Of course politicians have found ways of using this system to their advantage through a method called gerrymandering. It is a process by which they draw the districts so that their opponents don’t have a chance of winning.
For example, one district is known to favor the opponent. The legislature at the time has the power to draw the districts in such a way that it divides the district in half so it is merged with a large district that is in support of its party members.
In 1985, it was declared unconstitutional and has since been illegal. Of course, politicians have their ways of getting around it and that is why it is the job of the people to stop them by any means, and close the loopholes they wiggle through for re-election and other means.
Since 2002, 692 elections were held in California. Only five congressional seats have changed political party. This would not be surprising if the public was pleased with their government, however only 26 percent approve of their congressional representative according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
Opponents of Proposition 20 and Proposition 11 say it undermines democracy because the members of the commission are not voted on by the people.
Although not containing an election process, the commissioners are chosen through a highly transparent process so no shady dealings are done, unlike the many undemocratic methods politicians use to be elected and reelected, such as gerrymandering.
They also claim that because no other state follows this process, it would put California at a disadvantage during national ballots and presidential elections.
If passed, it is likely many other states will follow given that it slowly restores power back to the people, so in contrast it is other states that will remain at a disadvantage, still being under control of political schemes.
Proposition 27 would repeal the acts of Proposition 20 and Proposition 11, giving politicians the power to redraw districts once again.
It is the duty of the people to insure that they are protected and their well-being is secured because politicians prove over and over that their main objective is staying in power.
In this ballot, there is a battle for change in American politics right here in California. Barring another revolution, the people’s only weaponry is the ballot where they may have their say. Vote “yes” on Proposition 20 and “no” on Proposition 27 this November.