- Erinn Ryberg
- Chief of Staff
- (916) 319-2068
SACRAMENTO- Members of the Assembly voted overwhelmingly to pass AB 34 by Assemblymember Avelino Valencia (D-Anaheim), which would create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission in Orange County.
California law allows counties to establish advisory or independent redistricting commissions, and if a county does not use an independent citizens redistricting commission, the incumbent county supervisors draw their own district boundaries, opening the door for possible partisan conflicts or favoritism. Several other counties have moved forward in their efforts to establish Independent Citizens Redistricting Commissions. As the 3rd largest county [Orange County] in the state, it is important this measure passes to ensure equitable representation.
Recognizing the potential for inequalities, AB 34 is a bill that would require Orange County to establish an independent commission to draw its county supervisorial districts for the 2030 redistricting cycle. The commission would be reconstituted after every census to draw the County’s supervisorial districts in subsequent redistricting cycles. The partisan makeup of the commission would be proportional to the makeup of Orange County voters, and the bill sets eligibility criteria and restrictions for commission members. AB 34 adds provisions for the removal of commissioners, appointing alternates, translation of outreach materials in applicable languages, attendance expectations, and a prohibition on commissioners endorsing or contributing to an elective office of the local jurisdiction.
“In the last 20 years, Orange County has changed in its demographic makeup. The use of an independent citizens redistricting commission would impact political fairness in representation of the diversity and interests of the community,” says Assemblymember Valencia.
“Impartial and fair district boundaries are essential to democracy…Independent redistricting commissions are a proven way to create fair maps” says Lori Pesante, Civic Engagement Director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
“Establishing an Orange County Independent Redistricting Commission will ensure that community voices are centered first in neighborhood representation, not special interests. We strongly urge the California legislature to ensure AB 34 is passed to ensure fair representation for all Orange County residents,” said Jonathan Paik, Executive Director of OC Action.
AB 34 aims to remove the inherent conflict of interest when supervisors are involved in decisions regarding redrawing political district lines and, ensuring Orange County voters' interests are prioritized.
The bill is now waiting for policy referral in the Senate.