A report released today by the University of Southern California (USC), the University of Minnesota and the University of Houston researchers makes the provocative recommendation that the California State Legislature should no longer have the power to strike finalists from the pool of applicants for California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. The report was issued in the wake of a series of controversial strikes in the selection of the new slate of commissioners.
“The removal of seven of the 14 Latinx finalists by legislative leaders has been controversial, especially because the strikes are shrouded in secrecy, compared to an otherwise transparent selection process,” said Kathay Feng, Common Cause National Redistricting & Representation Director. “The closed-door striking of finalists by the legislature runs counter to the goals of transparency and accountability for the Citizens Redistricting Commission. It leaves open the question of why so many qualified Latinx applicants were removed from the pool, undermining the voters’ mandate of creating a Commission that reflects the state’s racial and ethnic diversity.”