Note: This is the first in a series of The California Aggie’s endorsements for the Nov. 4 election. We will be stating our endorsements over the next two and a half weeks, and summarizing our opinions on Election Day.
Redistricting has long been an issue in California. Our current system is seriously broken; by allowing legislators to draw districts, the process remains uncompetitive, and a serious conflict of interest to boot. The Yes on Prop 11 campaign notes that there is a 99 percent reelection rate for California legislative seats.
Although the current system may ensure, in some cases, that minority representation isn’t lost, it also ensures that districts will be drawn in favor of the legislator currently in office. This lack of competition encourages our state’s lawmakers to be lazy, and doesn’t make them work to earn their constituents‘ votes.
Prop 11 would take the districting task out of legislators‘ hands and create an independent commission. This group will include Democrats, Republicans and non-partisans. Most importantly, these districts will be drawn without any interference from the legislature. It is this total independence that will allow the commission to draw districts that more accurately represent the California region.
The California Aggie supports Proposition 11. It tackles a difficult issue and draws support from across the political spectrum.
Many diverse groups have united in support of Prop 11 – the ACLU of Southern California, the AARP, and the California Taxpayers‘ Association to name a few.
Despite the concern that some have expressed about Prop 11 limiting the voice of minorities, many representative groups have endorsed this proposition. Organizations representing African Americans, Hispanics and the LGBT community have all united in support of this proposition. This indicates that the concern about minorities losing a voice is not consistently held, even among these groups.
It is important to note that no single districting map will please everyone. Regardless of where the lines are drawn, some will feel disenfranchised and others will feel that they are able to elect the legislator who will best represent their district.
With this caveat in mind, supporting Prop 11 is a wise choice. It is much better to have a system that eliminates a glaring conflict of interest than one that leaves such a conflict in place, with no evident gain.
Prop 11 will make legislators work for their jobs, instead of allowing them to draw in their own job security.