Through our work within the CensusIE Coalition, Census outreach is a major priority of Inland Empowerment, however, it is not our only priority regarding representation. After the Census follows two processes – reapportionment and redistricting. The process of deciding how many seats a state will have in the House of Representatives is called reapportionment and the process of deciding how those seats will be divided is called redistricting.
The Census Bureau conducts a nationwide enumeration of all people living in the United States every ten years. Once the Bureau has all of the data it needs, the Bureau uses what is called the Method of Equal Proportion to calculate apportionment totals for each state. These updated totals are submitted to the President at the end of that Census year and subsequently sent to the states for redistricting purposes by March 31st of the following year.
Once states have received the total apportionment allocation, state appointed or elected representatives can begin redistricting. California currently has 53 United States Representatives in the House and 120 state legislatures; each of those representatives is elected by district. The federal government mandates that those districts be re-evaluated every ten years after the Census, be nearly equal in size, and not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.
The process of redistricting varies by state. In most states the state legislators redraw the boundaries, in some states an independent body redraw the boundaries, and some states do not redistrict at all because they only require one representative. In California, an independent redistricting commission of California residents draws the districts. This commission is in charge of drawing congressional and state legislative lines.
Independent Redistricting Commission
California’s independent redistricting commission will be comprised of 14 individuals: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 belonging to neither party.
All representatives chosen for the independent commission must meet the following qualifications:
- Members must be a registered voter and a California resident since July 1, 2015
- Members must have voted in at least 2 of the last 3 statewide elections
- Members cannot have switched party affiliation for at least 5 years.
- Neither members or their immediate family members can: a) have ran for state or congressional office in the last ten years; b) be a member of a political party central committee; c) be a registered lobbyist or a paid legislative staff; or e) be a donor of more than $2,500 to an elected candidate.
- Neither members nor their family members may be staff, consultants, or contractors for the state or federal government while serving as a commissioner
If you are interested in serving as a commissioner, please read the following to understand the process.
- The initial application period opens June 10, 2019 and closes August 9, 2019.
- The supplemental application period begins August 12, 2019 and closes September 11, 2019.
- The Application Review Panel (Panel) will review the applications and pick the 120 most qualified applicants to move forward to the interview process.
- Post interview, the top 60 applicants will be identified and moved forward in the process – 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans, and 20 others. Those top applicants will then be submitted to the California legislature. The legislature can remove up to 24 names.
- The Panel will randomly select 8 of the remaining candidates to participate in the commission, and those 8 will choose the final 6.
For more information about how to apply, please visit the website below.
If you are interested in applying for the independent commission and would like to be connected with resources to support you in the application process, please fill out the form below!