The Latino Community Foundation and California Citizens Redistricting Commission held a Latino Redistricting Briefing virtual session to inform people why the redistricting process matters to the Latino community and how people can raise awareness on important issues in their area.
Redistricting occurs every ten years after the Census, ensuring new districts are equal and elected officials are really serving all Californians equally.
Patricia Sinay, one of the 14 commissioners, talked about the process of redistricting and why the people’s voice is very important.
“We do this every 10 years because think of your neighborhood and the changes that happen in 10 years,” said Sinay. “We do this to make sure that all areas are equal and because we believe that people should choose their elected officials.”
Sinay said that the redistricting process is all about drawing lines and that it doesn’t matter what your vote of registration or age is, all Californians can be a part of redistricting.
“Independent redistricting matters because it ensures the idea of one vote in fairness,” said Sinay. “Independent redistricting was created to include the people.”
Sinay said that her number one message is to inform the people that they have a voice.
“One of the things that we are really trying to encourage the public is that you don’t have to wait for a meeting with us. Individuals can do it from their home. People should take their time to research, to share with us what their input is,” said Sinay. “We really want to encourage people to tell us why your community is important. We are trying to make this comfortable for all of California.”
There is a six step process to redistricting when drawing the lines. The first step is equal population. The second step is voting rights acts. The third step is contiguity. The fourth step is communities of interest. The fifth step is geographically compact, and the final step is nesting districts, said Sinay.
Christian Arana, Vice President of Policy for the Latino Community Foundation, said that it is important more now than ever that people elect officials that prioritize the health and safety of all Californians as commissioners draw the lines for the new state and congressional districts.
“Latinos [need to] understand that you are part of the community and elect officials that we need and our communities need,” said Arana.