On Friday the Citizens Redistricting Commission released their first round of district maps for Assembly, Senate, Congress, and Board of Equalization. From the looks of things, the voters are getting pretty much what they asked for when they approved the ballot initiatives that set up the process. We’re getting more competitive districts.
In the 47th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, we have a district that combines most of Orange County’s Vietnamese community with the Latino core of Santa Ana. This draft sets up a narrow 5% registration advantage for Democrats but manages to dilute, significantly, the Latino community advantage. It’s great that the commission is trying to pull together the Vietnamese community into a district that enhances their political clout. However, the commission needs to find a way to not pit the two larges minority communities of Orange County against each other to achieve representation for both. I would expect that the Latino community will come out in greater force on June 18th at the Commission’s Public Hearing in Fullerton (details here).
The districts represented by Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and John Campbell have been combined into an OC Coast district setting up a battle between the two Republican Congressmen. In northern Orange County Congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller appear as though they will be in competition to represent the same seat. Congressman Calvert is, at least in this draft, completely drawn out of OC.
For the State Assembly, we have the 68th district that incorporates the county’s Asian core population, giving that community of interest a better opportunity to regain ethnic representation. The new lines for the 69th Assembly district, represented by Assemblyman Jose Solorio, currently cuts Anaheim out of the district. I would expect that some of the Latino community advocates will be pushing for the central OC Latino core to remain intact in this district.
The new 34th Senate district, currently represented by Senator Lou Correa, is proposed to include the 68th and 69th Assembly districts, again pitting the Latino and Asian communities in competition.
What people need to remember is that this release of draft maps, is the first of several. The next phase of public comment will significantly influence the next rounds of revisions the Commission will make. To see how these new district lines affect you, check out the maps here.