Redistricting Process: Independent Commission
Population Change (since 2000): 3,382,308
Governor: Jerry Brown (D)
Members of Congress: 19R, 34D
Party Control: N/A
2008: 61% Obama, 37% McCain
Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
Click on each district on the map to see more information.
Click the arrow button to switch between districts that are close together.
New Districts by Party Representation
2010 Redistricting Changes:
New Map Summary and Analysis: For California, 2011 redistricting marks a number of firsts. For the first time since California earned its statehood in 1850 (except 1920, in which reapportionment did not occur), the Golden State will not see an increase to its Congressional delegation following the Census. While states like Texas, Colorado, and Georgia will each gain a few more seats in the House of Representatives, a slowing of population growth in California means that the status quo of 53 representatives will remain in place for the next ten years. Perhaps even more historic, 2011 marks the first redistricting cycle in which the power of redistricting has been granted to a brand new, voter approved organization: the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC). Full Summary and Analysis
Redistricting Process: Before the adoption of Proposition 11 in 2008, the California state legislature and governor controlled all aspects of redistricting. For decades, reformers had sought to change the redistricting process in the state, but between 1980 and 2005, California voters defeated five separate redistricting reform initiatives. The passage of Proposition 11 in 2008 finally moved control of state legislative districts from the legislature to the Citizen Redistricting Commission. But Proposition 11 left congressional redistricting under legislative control. Proposition 11’s proponents reasoned that the legislature did not have the same conflict of interest when drawing congressional districts as it did when drawing its own district lines. Moreover, Proposition 11’s proponents wanted to avoid well-funded opposition by members of the state’s congressional delegation, which was an important factor in the defeat of previous reform proposals.
On November 4, 2008, California voters approved Proposition 11 by a slim 50.9% majority. The measure, called the Voters FIRST Act, created a commission to draw state Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization districts. Under the measure, the state auditor is in charge of soliciting and reviewing commission applications from private citizens across the state. Reformers selected the state auditor’s office to handle the application process because the auditor is appointed by the legislative leadership but is required under federal law to operate independently of state legislative control. The regulations require that applicants must have voted in two of the last three elections and must not have held public office for ten years, worked for a political party or candidate, registered as a lobbyist, or donated more than $2000 to a candidate for the legislature or Board of Equalization. Three members of the state auditor’s team - one Democrat, one Republican, and one independent - form the Applicant Review Panel. This panel selects 60 finalists with an equal mix of Democrats, Republicans, and others. Each of the four legislative caucus leaders can strike two people from each party affiliation subpool, leaving the pool with at least 12 people in each of the three party subpools. The first eight commissioners - three Republicans, three Democrats, and two others - are selected by random drawing from those 36 candidates. The first eight commissioners select the remaining six members based on qualifications, complementary skills, and ensuring the diversity among the final 14 Commissioners. The first eight Commissioners choose two additional Commissioners from each subpool of political affiliation. The full 14-member commission is comprised of five Democratic members, five Republicans, and four others. Unlike Arizona, where the final commission is selected by the legislature, California’s system maximizes independence through random selection.
The mapping criteria laid out in the Voters FIRST Act are very similar to Arizona’s. Equal population is the first requirement, followed by compliance with the Voting Rights Act. After this, contiguity, keeping intact communities of interest (including cities and counties) and compactness follow. The act specifically forbids the consideration of incumbent residences. All the meetings of the Citizens Redistricting Commission are public, and the act requires significant public exposure of the commission’s proposals. The commission must solicit public comment for a minimum of 14 days after the initial draft of plans. To adopt the plan, the final proposal must be approved by nine members of the commission, including at least three Democrats, three Republicans, and three independents. The plan is subject to both referendum and challenges in the California Supreme Court.
California's Proposition 20, passed overwhelmingly in November 2010, moved control of congressional redistricting from the legislature to the Commission. Proposition 20 also tightened up the state's definition of "community of interest" and moved the Commission's deadline to August 15th, 2011.
Governor: Democrat Jerry Brown
Legislature: Democrats control both chambers.
Number of Congressional seats in 2011: 53 (no change from 2010)
2011 Ideal District Population: 702,905