Bill by Local Lawmakers Reforming Redistricting Commission Passed by Assembly Committee

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego)
presented legislation in the Assembly Elections Committee Tuesday that would make
San Diego County’s Redistricting Commission more reflective of the county’s population.
The bill passed the committee 5-2. (Photo- Assembly Democratic Caucus).

AB 801 increases diverse perspectives and regional representation

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Elections Committee passed legislation today, 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. 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.

“Although San Diego’s population is extremely diverse, the pool of eligible commissioners under current law includes a disproportionate group of individuals who do not reflect the demographics of San Diego County,” 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 rather than judges.”

“This is an important step toward ensuring the County of San Diego’s elections process belongs to the voters,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “Despite the characterizations made by opponents, AB 801 empowers San Diego residents to draw the lines that best represent their diverse communities and to ultimately ensure that they are represented by leaders who reflect their needs and priorities.”

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 hold or have held elective office in the previous ten years.

AB 801 is the first of a pair of election reform bills Weber and Gloria authored to move from a legislative policy committee. The second bill, AB 901, which aims to increase voter turnout for the election of County Supervisors, will be heard later this spring.

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.