FCDP Press Release:  Redistricting Commission

FCDP Press Release: Redistricting Commission

Press Release
July 16, 2019

Redistricting Commission

FRESNO—California is looking for 14 citizens to join the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw district lines for future elections so that new districts will accurately represent the new population data. The redrawing of districts will be completed in August 2021 and will be reflected in the 2022 election.

The selection committee conducts comprehensive outreach to ensure the widest possible applicant pool for the commission, drafts regulations for the Voters First Act, which authorized the creation of the 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission, and facilitates the formation of the redistricting commission every three years.

To be eligible, individuals must have been registered with the same political party, or as Decline to State/No Party Preference, since July 1, 2015, and must have voted in at least two of the last three elections. However, an applicant might not be eligible if she/he has a conflict of interest defined by the Act within the 10 years prior to submitting an application.

A voter also cannot serve on the commission if the she/he or a member of his/her immediate family has been appointed to, elected to, or been a candidate for a California Congressional or state office; served as an officer, employee or state consultant of a California political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California Congressional or elective state office; or has been a registered lobbyist.

The 60-day application is open from June 10 to Aug. 9. The entire selection process, which will culminate in a new commission, will end no later than Aug. 15, 2020.

Once elected, the commission will conduct an open and transparent process of enabling full public consideration on the redrawing of district lines. The commission is to be independent from legislative influence and should be representative of the state’s diversity.

The commission will establish single-member districts for the Senate, Assembly, Congress and State Board of Equalization pursuant to a mapping process in alignment with the set criteria. Along with the responsibility of drawing district lines, the commission will hold public meetings to solicit and receive public input, research and analyze data used to set geographic boundaries, hire support staff and prepare legal defense to defend any action regarding a certified map.

“California’s redistricting commission is the fairest and most transparent determinant of legislative districts in the country,” says Michael D. Evans, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party. “We encourage eligible Central Valley voters to apply to be part of this important initiative.”

Individuals can apply at http://auditor.ca.gov/bsa/crc.

The Fresno County Democratic Party serves as the official governing entity of the Democratic Party in the county in cooperation with the state and national Democratic committees. Visit the local Democratic Party at 1033 U Street in downtown Fresno. For more information, contact 559-495-0606 or dems@fresnocountydemocrats.org.

Media Inquiries:

Michael D. Evans

Chair, Fresno County Democratic Party



FCDP Press Release:  Redistricting Commission

Supreme Court Decision on Gerrymandering

Supreme Court Decision on Gerrymandering
FRESNO—Supreme Court justices “turned their backs on voters” with their decision to block federal courts from intervening with how Congressional districts are outlined. The Supreme Court ruling essentially reinforces the unfair advantage of “oddly shaped voting districts” by allowing the continuance of partisan gerrymandering.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who decided the 5-4 victory for conservatives, justified his decision by stating that “federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.” 
    By allowing partisan gerrymandering to continue, the Supreme Court has implied that “free and fair” elections should not be part of America’s democracy. Although this decision will have different effects for different states, it “intensifies the importance of primary elections for candidates,” according to CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck.
Furthermore, this decision indicates that “the only way we’ll end partisan gerrymandering is by voting Republicans out of power in state legislatures,” according to Jessica Post, executive director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. 
    Opponents of the Supreme Court’s decision, such as Justice Elena Kagan, stated, “In the face of escalating partisan manipulation whose compatibility with this nation’s values and law no one defends—the majority declines to provide any remedy.
“For the first time in this nation’s history, the majority declares that it can do nothing about an acknowledged constitutional violation because it has searched high and low and cannot find a workable legal standard to apply.”
The Supreme Court decision was in response to districts gerrymandered by the Republican legislature in North Carolina. “Trump’s handpicked Supreme Court may not think what the NC GOP did was unconstitutional,” states Wayne Goodwin, chair of the N.C. Democratic Party, “but the millions of North Carolinians who’ve suffered for years under maps that silence them know: The right to have your vote count equally is the cornerstone of who we are as a nation.
“There is no issue that gerrymandering doesn’t touch. Expanding access to affordable healthcare, preventing gun violence, acting on climate change, protecting reproductive rights—across the board, the progress we all want depends on representative districts.”
“The Supreme Court decision upholding the N.C. gerrymandering institutionalizes another roadblock to fair and transparent elections,” says Michael D. Evans, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party.”  But our role now is clear: We must oust the party that set in motion this un-democratic through aggressive voter education and turnout. We will return democracy to our country.”

The Fresno County Democratic Party serves as the official governing entity of the Democratic Party in the county in cooperation with the state and national Democratic committees. Visit the local Democratic Party at 1033 U Street in downtown Fresno. For more information, contact 559-495-0606 or fresnocountydemocrats@yahoo.com.
Media Inquiries:
Michael D. Evans
Chair, Fresno County Democratic Party
Press Release: Fresno Democrats on Census

Press Release: Fresno Democrats on Census

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2019
2020 Census
FRESNO—The 2020 Census, scheduled to begin on April 1, will introduce new methods of collecting Census information through the adoption of online, mail-in and in-person access to questionnaires.
            Newly introduced methods are meant to ensure the population is counted accurately and effectively, but people are vulnerable to scams. To avoid becoming a victim, ensure that any mailed Census information is from Jeffersonville, IN; any callers can be verified by the National Processing Center; and all in-person visitors have valid identification.
Any e-mails received on behalf of the Census Bureau should be forwarded to ois.fraud.reporting@census.gov for verification. If you are unsure whether you are being scammed, call the Census Bureau Regional Office at 1-800-992-3530.
            The purpose of the Census is to receive an accurate and representative count of the U.S. population. The information is then used for redistricting, which puts some states at risk for losing seats in the House of Representatives as well as losing funds allocated to cover per capita and specific population costs. California is one of the states at risk of losing seats and funds if the Census does not accurately reflect California’s population.
            A factor that contributes to an inaccurate population count is the percentage of hard-to-count areas within a county. There are 476,414 people within Fresno County who have a higher risk of going uncounted, which accounts for almost half of the county’s population. Areas in southwest Fresno County are especially at risk of being undercounted.
Due to the large immigrant population in California, the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census could serve as a deterrent to immigrant population participation. This issue directly affects Fresno, which has a substantial immigrant population.
“Equitable representation for our Latino community depends on a thorough and accurate 2020 Census count,” says Annalisa Perea, a State Center Community College District trustee. “A significant amount of effort is required in order to achieve full participation in the 2020 U.S. Census, especially in the California community college system, which has some of the hardest-to-count residents in the state.
“That’s why I’m proud that at the local community college district, we’ve already entered into an agreement with the California Complete Count Office for use of office space at Fresno City College to support complete count efforts here in the Central Valley.
“The thoroughness and integrity of the Census count are critical,” says Michael D. Evans, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party. “Our state needs full representation and access to all the resources to which we are entitled. An accurate Census will ensure that.”
The Fresno County Democratic Party can be reached at 559-495-0606 or dems@fresnocountydemocrats.org.
Media Inquiries:
Michael D. Evans, 704-975-8874, evansm@usa.net