California State Auditor on Citizens Redistricting Commission

California State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in Friday’s Sacramento Bee about the new Citizens Redistricting Commission created by Proposition 11 last November. Proposition 11 (The Voters FIRST Act) will create a commission of citizens who will draw the redistricting lines in 2011. Under Propostition 11, the State Auditor’s office is in charge of the application process for citizens who want to be on the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Howle discusses why she thinks the State Auditor’s Office is the right state office to handle the application process.

“First of all, because I am a non-elected state official, I have not engaged in, and in fact am prohibited from engaging in, the kinds of political activities that elected officials do every day: e.g. fundraising; meeting with lobbyists; becoming active in parties or partisan politics; engaging in statewide or local political campaigns.
Voters wanted someone without any ties to politics per se, beholden to no one, and who is not looking past the commission’s role to their own next election.
At the same time, I believe that they also did not want a complete outsider. They wanted someone who understood how government works and someone they could count on to do this job right.
The California State Auditor’s Office works with local government and state agencies every day, as well as with the state Legislature. We understand how the system works and how critical the process of drawing fair and legal districts is to the state and its future.”

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