California’s political boundaries are being redefined based on the latest U.S. census.
Your address cannot change, but chances are the political and school districts where you are voting will do.
The 2021 census data shows slow growth in California’s population compared to other states, meaning California will lose a member of Congress for the first time in history.
“How these lines are drawn can often make the difference between a Democrat or a Republican running and winning, a Person of Color or not, a woman or not,” Sara Sadhwani, a commissioner for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, told NBC4 I team.
“It affects the lives of so many people through the millions of dollars in funding that ultimately goes to local communities,” she added.
Sadhwani is part of a group of 14 made up of five Republicans, five Democrats, and four non-party members. You will make the final decisions about the county boundaries.
Unlike other states where politicians make decisions, California uses this bipartisan commission, which in turn relies on public input, and they are already receiving calls.
“We had a number of people from Orange County, from the Little Saigon area, who called and said, ‘We want better representation. Right now the leadership divides our ward into three different congressional districts and we want to be held together in one.” Community, “said Sadhwani.
“As a second-generation Vietnamese-American business owner in Little Saigon, I called for redistribution several times,” Tam Nguyen told the I-Team.
Nguyen says what happens now will affect future generations.
“Little Saigon is the largest gathering of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. It’s important that we stick together as a block, ”he said, adding that issues like schools, healthcare and small business in a good environment are important to the community.
California remains the most populous state, but according to the 2020 US Census, its population has only grown 6.1% over the past decade.
At 7.4%, that was less than average growth across the country. Los Angeles County showed even less growth at 2%.
Census data suggests people moved east and south of LA County.
US Representative Katie Porter’s District 45 in Orange County, which includes Anaheim, Orange, and Mission Viejo, is up more than 15% compared to 10 years ago.
“In many local communities there are also local redistribution efforts for your school boards, for your city councils, for your board of directors, for your districts,” said Sadwhani, who is also a professor of politics at Pomona College.
There is time to get involved before the districts are decided. With an online tool you can create the district you want and send it to the commission. https://drawmycacommunity.org/
The commission has asked for an extension until mid-January in order to finalize new district maps and to include public comments.
A decision by the Supreme Court of California is still pending, according to a spokesman for the commission.