The more than two million Black Californians are about to be disenfranchised if the proposed redistricting maps stick
Over the last week, there was a lot of noise about the redistricting visualization maps that were released by state and local commissions throughout the state.
California Black leaders have broken down barriers that many groups benefit from today and their voice at the table is at risk because of the process of redistricting.
After the census data is published by the Federal government, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts as well as local districts which include county, city, and school districts to reflect the changes in the population. This is the first year that these lines have been put in the hands of commissions made up of everyday citizens due to the passing of the Voters First Act in 2008. The Commission is supposed to be nonpartisan to create districts of "relatively equal population" to provide fair representation for all Californians. Well from the looks of it...the f#@k that up at especially for the congressional, assembly, and senate districts. Locally
, there are some muck ups too.
The bull horns started to blow last week by community leaders throughout the state. The area that had the biggest impact was Los Angeles, which still had what would be considered traditional safe seats for Black Californians to get elected. Currently, there are two congressional members, two state senators, and five assembly members who are Black representing Los Angeles districts. This makes a lot of sense that Los Angeles would be the place where
representation is still alive and thriving. After all, more than 40 percent of the state's Black Population resides in Los Angeles County. There are large clusters of Black Californians in communities like Ladera, View Park, Watts, and Compton. Los Angeles Black trailblazers like Honorable Gwen Moore, Diane Watson, Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, Maxine Waters, Karen Bass, Holly Mitchell, and Mervyn Dymally have broken down many barriers to be the first. Their legacies have shinned as beacons for the next generation of leaders to take the baton to make snit happen. Now all that is in jeopardy. If the visualization maps become the new districts, the Black representation will be cut down to possibly one congressional seat and one state senate seat. In addition, currently, Assemblymembers could be in the position to run against each other due to the changing of their district lines. Last week, there were many folks up in arms and there were comments at every meeting. We even posted comments on the We Draw the Lines website. The Commission still has to do a Voter's Rights Act overlay to make sure there aren't any groups disenfranchised.
So Now What?!?!
We must continue to do what we do! Speak up and speak out. When we collectively raise our voice, there isn't any group louder or more impactful. We need our electeds at every level because they are the only ones who carry issues that are unique to our community like the CROWN Act, Reparations, Black Maternal and Infant Health, and Criminal Justice Reform. This is not a
drill...we will have to live with these districts until the next census in 2030. Let's do this people...get on the horn and your voice heard. Check out the visualizations and leave a comment at Contact - We Draw the Lines CA. In addition, find out what your local proposed district lines from the local commissions.