California House Democrats Against Prop 11

According to the Venture County Star and the California Majority Report, the Nancy Pelosi, as well as the Chairs of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus have written a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger expressing their opposition to Proposition 11.

The delegation criticizes Proposition 11 for allegedly “[failing] to protect the interests of minority voters.” They argued that minority voters will be adversely affected by the independent commission’s work on district lines, citing the criticism by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Association Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, and William C. Velasquez Institute (as previously discussed on the Rose Report). However, in the letter, they fail to provide substantive reasons to support this argument. They also complain that “this initiative does not in any way ensure that the 14 members of this powerful new commission will reflect the gender, racial, or geographic diversity of the state’s 36 million people.”

Additionally, the delegation calls the proposition “a vehicle to increase Republican influence in state government at a time when the Republican Party is losing influence with the general electorate.”

A selection from the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger:

There is a need for reform of the redistricting process in this country. Many of our members have cosponsored legislation in Congress that will set national redistricting standards so that no party will gain an advantage in the Congressional redistricting process. However, we oppose Proposition 11 because it is a vehicle to increase Republican influence in state government at a time when the Republican Party is losing influence with the general electorate.

As the most ethnically diverse state delegation in Congress, and as members of Congressional organizations that promote the rights of African American, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander citizens, we cannot sit by and allow the Republican Party to maximize its political influence at the expense of minority voting rights.

This sentiment of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation mirrors that of the state Democratic Party.

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