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Archived: EDITORIAL: Redistricting Maps Unleash Complaints

Every ten years states must realign their political boundaries according to the ten-year census data count.

For decades now, Californians have been complaining about the gerrymandering of political representative districts by the States Legislature, which seemed more interested in protecting incumbents than doing what’s right for voters.

Finally in 2008, voters passed Proposition 11, which placed a non-partisan citizen’s commission in charge of redrawing district maps. Those maps were unveiled to the public last Friday.

The commission was given a set of criteria it was to use when forming its district maps. One was to preserve “communities of interest,” which could include anything from ethnicity to income levels (which we disagree with) to local city and county electoral boundaries, to name a few.

They were also directed to abide by the federal requirements outlined in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

No one that we know expected the commission to create maps that were perfect and fair to all California voters the first time around, and now many groups feel the first draft of the newly released maps are unfair to communities of interest.

Latinos in particular are extremely unhappy with the Commission’s failure to account for the growth in their population numbers.

So now the negotiating and compromising must start on how to adjust the maps to meet the criticism now being made.

The Commission will be holding meetings across the state to hear testimony on how the maps can be improved to correct and meet the greatest number of complaints leveled at their work. One of those meetings will take place tonight at City Hall in Culver City.

Attendance at the new set of hearings will probably to a great extent determine what changes will be made. As the old saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”