Bill by Local Lawmakers Reforming Redistricting Commission Passed by Assembly

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

 AB 801 encourages diversity and removes politicians & lobbyists from redistricting process

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly has passed legislation authored by San Diego lawmakers, Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, that would ensure fairness in the drawing of the County’s Supervisorial districts. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

AB 801 would require that the County of San Diego Citizens Redistricting Commission be comprised of members who reflect the diversity of the region’s population and be drawn from various parts of the county.

“San Diego’s population is extremely diverse” Weber said. “If you want the diversity of perspectives necessary to ensure fairness, you are more likely to find that by drawing from a pool of qualified citizens. We also need to eliminate any temptation to draw lines for political gain. AB 801 prohibits those who have a political or financial stake in the outcome of the redistricting process from serving on the commission.”

AB 801 is about ensuring our County Board of Supervisors reflects the will of the voters,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). “As we have seen in the City of San Diego, the citizens redistricting process is both transparent and deliberative, and it produces electoral districts that are diverse and representative. More importantly, AB 801 empowers the citizens of the County of San Diego to have a larger voice in their government and ultimately be represented by elected officials who more adequately reflect them and the desires of their families.”

The bill would also explicitly prohibit those who have a political or financial stake in how the lines are drawn from serving on the commission, including political consultants, lobbyists and those who are holding or have held elective office in the previous ten years.

AB 801 is the one of a pair of election reform bills Weber and Gloria authored this session. The second bill, AB 901, which aims to increase voter turnout for the election of County Supervisors, has already moved to the Senate Elections Committee for consideration in the next few weeks.

Assemblymember Shirley Weber represents the 79th District of California and serves as the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety. The 79th Assembly District includes the cities of Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, and San Diego.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria represents the 78th District of California and serves as an Assistant Majority Whip. The 78th Assembly District includes the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, San Diego, and Solana Beach.