Democrat Steve Chessin on Redistricting

Steve Chessin, a member of the California Democratic Party Executive Board has a piece at the California Progress Report supporting the Voters First Initiative. While acknowledging that Voters First may not deliver all it promises, he supports the reform effort:

Experience with redistricting reform in other states shows that it doesn’t change much. A few districts become slightly more competitive, but most are safe for one party or the other just because of demographics. So why support redistricting reform if it won’t change things much? Because it is egregious for elected officials to pick their voters before the voters get to choose their elected officials.

Appearances matter, and getting rid of this apparent (and real) conflict of interest will do much to restore the public’s confidence in government.

He also takes issue with the idea that Democrats are not supporting the initiative, saying:

[Bill Cavala] neglects to mention that both former Controller Steve Westly and former Governor Gray Davis support it, and neither of them has ever been on the losing end of a redistricting fight. Also, the California Democratic Council, “the conscience of the Democratic Party”, supports the initiative (although certain California Democratic Party insiders are trying to get that undone before the November election).

The fact that he is a member of the California Democratic Party Executive Board–which recently voted to take a stance against the measure–may indicate future discord within the party on this subject.

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