The redistribution of political boundaries based on the recent US census is happening in California.
Your address may not change, but the political and school districts in which you vote may do so.
Census data for 2021 shows slow growth in California’s population relative to other states, meaning that for the first time in history, California will lose a representative in Congress.
“The way these lines are drawn can often make the difference between whether a Democrat or a Republican shows up and wins, whether it’s a person of color or not, a woman or not.” , Sara Sadhwani, Commissioner for California Citizen Redistribution Commission, said the NBC4 I-Team.
“It impacts the lives of so many people through the flow of millions of dollars in funding that will eventually trickle down to communities on the ground,” she added.
Sadhwani is part of a 14-member group made up of five Republicans, five Democrats and four people not affiliated with any of the parties. They will make the final decisions on the district boundaries.
Unlike other states where politicians decide, California uses this bipartisan commission which in turn relies on public input, and they are already getting calls.
“We’ve had a number of people calling from Orange County, that area of Little Saigon, to call and say ‘we want better representation.’ Currently the lines divide our community into three different congressional districts. and we want to stay together in one community, ”Sadhwani said.
“As a second generation Vietnamese-American business owner in Little Saigon, I have called repeatedly for the redistribution,” Tam Nguyen told the I-Team.
Nguyen says what happens now will affect future generations.
“Little Saigon is the largest collection of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. It is essential that we remain united as a bloc, ”he said, adding that issues such as schools, healthcare and small businesses in a good environment are important to the community.
California remains the state with the largest population, but its population has grown only 6.1% over the past decade, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.
This amounted to less than the average growth across the country of 7.4%. Los Angeles County posted even lower growth at 2%.
Census data suggests people moved east and south to LA County.
U.S. Representative Katie Porter District 45 in Orange County, which includes Anaheim, Orange, and Mission Viejo, was more than 15% compared to 10 years ago.
“In many local communities, local redistribution efforts are also underway for your school boards, for your city councils, for your supervisory board, for your counties,” said Sadwhani, who is also a professor of politics at Pomona College.
It’s time to get involved before the districts are decided. An online tool allows you to create the neighborhood you want to see and send it to the commission. https://drawmycacommunity.org/
The commission asked for an extension until mid-January to finalize the new district maps and gather public comment.
A decision from the California Supreme Court is pending, according to a spokesperson for the commission.