Diversity and the CA Redistricting Commission

On Tuesday, California’s Applicant Review Panel sits down to narrow the pool of remaining applicants. The Panel’s responsibility, under the regulations adopted by the State Auditor, include ensuring the final pool reasonably reflects California’s complex diversity. As stated in Proposition 11, California’s diversity is defined as “including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, geographic, and gender.” The ARP’s June 11th decisions, which reduced the pool to its current 622 applicants, were done based on individual evaluations of each applicant. As it reduces the pool from 622 down to the 120 people it will invite for interviews, the Panel is expected to begin looking at the pool as more of a group.

Earlier postings evaluated the overall demographics of the pool of 622. Yet the Panel’s decisions are more accurately evaluated by looking within each of the three separate pools: Democrats, Republicans, and Others. The Rose Institute acquired the full database of applicants (through a public records request) and analyzed the demographics of each pool. The results indicate the opportunities and challenges facing the ARP.

The key number for any analysis is 14. There will be 14 commissioners on the final Citizens Redistricting Commission: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 Others. To constitute 30 percent of the Commission, a group (whether ethnic, regional, economic, age, or whatever) needs 4 people. To constitute 15 percent of the Commission, the group needs only 2 people on the Commission. Even groups with only a few members remaining in the pool can still end up with a significant number of seats on the Commission.

The Pool of 622

There are now 331 Democrats, 182 Republicans, and 109 “other” applicants (these numbers differ slightly from those released at the last ARP meeting because of updated numbers from the Auditor). Looking at ethnicity, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are reasonably evenly distributed among the three pools, as they constitute 10 percent of the remaining Democratic applicants, 9 percent of the Republicans, and 5 percent of the Others. Latinos are 12 percent of Democrats, 12 percent of Independents, and 6 percent of Republicans. African American applicants are more concentrated: they constitute 15 percent of Democratic applicants, 6 percent of Others, and only 2 percent of Republicans. The Democratic pool is 60 percent White. The Other pool is 68 percent White. And the Republican pool is 80 percent White. In the Democratic pool 56 percent are male, as are 76 percent of those in the Republican pool and 63 percent of those in the Other pool.

Economically, the three partisan pools are remarkably similar. Those earning over $250,000 are 7 to 9 percent of each of the three groups. Twenty-seven to 33 percent of each group earn $125,000 to $250,000. Thirty-three to 37 percent of each group earn $75,000 to $125,000.  Eighteen to 22 percent of each partisan pool earn $35,000 to $75,000, and five to ten percent of each group report earning less than $35,000.

Narrowing, and Balancing, the Pool

As has been noted, these demographics are not yet representative of California. The result is that White, Democratic, male applicants are the most likely applicants be eliminated between now and the interview stage.  The Other pool will be reduced from 109 to 40 before interviews begin, while the Democratic pool must be reduced from 331 to 40 and the Republican pool from 139 to 40. With 228 women remaining in total, 26 percent of the women currently in the pool could reasonably expect to advance to the total group of 120 that will be invited to interview. Among the Other pool, half of the 40 women currently in the pool are likely to advance, as are 47 percent of the 43 remaining Republican women and 14 percent of the 145 remaining Democratic women, assuming the Panel attempts to keep gender balance in each pool. In contrast, under that same assumption, less than 1 in 9 of the remaining 186 male Democrats should expect to advance to an interview.

The Pool of 31

At its June 11th meeting, the Panel revealed that 31 applicants received positive initial evaluations from all three of the Panel members. It is likely that these 31 will be the first group nominated for the 120 member “to interview” pool. This group of 31 includes 17 Democrats, 8 Republicans, and 6 Others. If they are put into the interview pool, that means only 23 more interview spots remain for Democrats, 32 for Republicans, and 34 for Others. Among the 31, 5 are Asian American (4 Democrats and 1 Republican). Two are African American (both Democrats). Two are Latino (1 Democrat and 1 Other). One is a Pacific Islander (a Republican).  And 21 are White (10 Democrats, 6 Republicans, and 5 Others). Eleven are women (7 Democrats, 3 Republicans and 1 Other), while 20 are men (10 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 5 Others).

The Form 700 Twist

The ARP is expected to reduce the pool down close to 120 at its meetings this week. But the deadline for the applicants to complete the Form 700 report is not until later in July. The Commission must ensure that it still has 120 applicants to interview even if some (or many) decide not to complete the Form 700.

The 623rd Applicant

Unofficial reports from the Auditor’s office indicate that A’lyce Baldarelli, applicant #15799, may have been lost in processing and accidentally excluded from the ARP’s June 11th deliberations. She may be added back into the pool for ARP consideration tomorrow. She is a Republican woman from Ontario (San Bernardino County). [h/t to @vkogan for first alerting us to this issue.]

Stay Informed

As the Panel begins the next stage of its work, follow developments as they happen on this blog and on our twitter feed: @RoseInstitute.

Leave a reply