Redistricting Commission Didn’t Realize La Palma is in Orange County
Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 19, 2012
I will first note that I did vote for both Prop 11 (which created the California Citizens Redistricting Commission) and Prop 20 (which extended the Commission’s jurisdiction to Congressional districts). I do still believe the commission is a better way to redistrict than having the Legislature do it. However, that doesn’t mean the commission is perfect, and I do believe we should point out their mistakes.
Unbelievably, the Redistricting Commission did not realize that the City of La Palma is in Orange County. They placed La Palma in the 38th Congressional District, which is represented by Linda Sanchez. Yes, the Redistricting Commission added another Sanchez sister to the OC Congressional delegation. Every other city in CD-38 is in LA County.
However, my statement that the Redistricting Commission didn’t realize La Palma is in Orange County isn’t because of the reasons above. It’s because of the paragraph describing CD-38 in the commission’s final report:
CD 38 includes the Los Angeles County cities and communities of South El Monte, Cerritos, Artesia, Whittier, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, La Mirada, East La Mirado, Montebello, Santa Fe Springs, La Palma, Hawaiian Gardens and divides the cities of Bellflower and Lakewood to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and to achieve population equality. These cities share the major transportation corridors of the Interstate 5 and Interstate 605 freeways, with their corresponding traffic and environmental concerns. The district is characterized by shared commercial, economic, educational, and public safety issues among these cities. In this district, South El Monte is whole.
Yes, the commission included La Palma in its list of “Los Angeles County cities and communities” in CD-38. (I’m also sure the people of “East La Mirada” appreciate being called “East La Mirado” in the report.)
How big is La Palma? It has 15,568 people. I recognize that some districts do need to cross county lines, but was La Palma really the way to go on that? Couldn’t 15,568 people be moved from the LA County part of CD-47 to CD-38 and then have La Palma move from CD-38 to CD-47? CD-47 is 58% LA County and 42% Orange County, so my La Palma switch would simply make CD-47’s composition 56% LA County and 44% Orange County while CD-38 would then be exclusively LA County, instead of 98% LA County and 2% Orange County. (The switch also would have had little effect on either district’s party registration.)
It seems that Linda Sanchez acquired an Orange County city and joined the OC Congressional delegation due to an error by the Redistricting Commission.
(Again, I do believe the Redistricting Commission has been a net gain for California, but they’re not perfect, and we should point out their mistakes.)