Rose Statement on Appointment of CA Redistricting Technical Consultant

On Saturday, March 19, 2011, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission appointed Q2 Data and Research as the technical consultant to assist the Commission in its historic task of creating new districts for California’s state legislature and representatives in Congress. The Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College congratulates Q2 on its appointment, and wishes Q2 and the Commission well in the challenging task ahead.

The Rose Institute had been the only other applicant for this appointment, but after some debate on Saturday was ruled ineligible by the Commission for declining to list all financial donors for the past ten years. Because Claremont McKenna College is the contracting entity for the Rose Institute, compliance would have required publication of all CMC donors for the past ten years – a disclosure requirement to which few if any nonprofit educational institutions like CMC would agree. Aside from the practical difficulty of meeting the requirement on such short notice, the Institute did not believe that requiring this extensive disclosure was appropriate or necessary to ensure the absence of improper influence on the Institute. We remained hopeful that the Commission would afford the Institute a measure of flexibility on this point, as it did for our competitor in regard to other qualifications. However, the Commission did not waive this requirement.

The Rose Institute is, of course, disappointed that it could not ultimately compete for this appointment, because the Institute has been a leading participant in redistricting issues following the past four decennial census reapportionments. We are proud of our bid proposal and continue to believe that we offered outstanding experience and value. Nevertheless, we accept the Commission’s decision.

For the future, the Rose Institute looks forward to working with interested civic organizations, local governmental bodies, and other interested groups as a resource for analyzing plans, preparing for public testimony, and even proposing alternative plans to the Commission. As an outside organization deeply committed to the success of the Commission’s work, the Institute will also monitor plans proposed by the Commission, to ensure both transparency and compliance with the important standards for districts set out in the Commission’s charter in Propositions 11 and 20.

The Institute, of course, will also continue to assist local governments in their own redistricting efforts.

The Rose Institute team of experts is probably unmatched in the length, breadth, and depth of its experience in redistricting, both in California and other states. Our experience covers the entire range of redistricting, for example:

  • Assisting efforts to influence California redistricting by “Californios for Fair Representation,” the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and the Business Roundtable;
  • Supporting the City of Phoenix with its original move from at-large to by-district City Council elections;
  • Assisting scores of California cities, school districts, and special districts with original districtings and redistrictings;
  • Writing scores of reports on the redistricting process, the policy impacts of gerrymandering, and options for reform; and
  • Providing technical support to Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission as it drew Arizona’s the legislative and congressional district lines in 2001.

The Rose Institute has been a pioneer in the use of computer-based geographic information system (GIS) programs to manage the large quantities of demographic and political data necessary for redistricting, and is well known for its technical capabilities in creating districting plans and analyzing proposed districts for political, ethnic, and other demographic factors.

The Rose Institute will also continue to be a source of information on redistricting for the media and public. Rose Institute Fellow Douglas Johnson has been an often-quoted commentator in the media and frequent speaker on redistricting matters. The Institute will also continue to make redistricting information available through its websites, rosereport.org and RedistrictinginAmerica.org, and other venues.

We pledge to continue to produce the high quality of work and objective analysis that those who have worked with the Rose Institute have come to expect.

About the Rose Institute

The Rose Institute of State and Local Government is part of Claremont McKenna College, in Claremont, California. The Rose Institute pursues the complementary missions of providing research experience for students and publishing studies on issues of state and local government and politics with a primary emphasis on California.

The collaborative efforts of students, staff, and faculty of the Rose Institute result in the publication of significant studies in the areas of demographic analysis utilizing geographic information systems, redistricting, fiscal and economic impact analysis, survey research, and legal, budgetary, and regulatory analysis.

About Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College, established in 1946, is among the highest-ranked and most selective liberal arts colleges in the nation. CMC excels in preparing students for leadership through the liberal arts in business, the professions and public affairs. The College is home to more than 130 accomplished teacher- scholars who are dedicated to teaching and to offering unparalleled opportunities for student collaboration in the research process. Enrolling approximately 1,200 students, CMC combines highly-selective need-blind admission, innovative programs, a 9-to-1 student-faculty ratio, ten research institutes, the impact of the seven-member Claremont College Consortium, and a strong and committed network of alumni, to educate its graduates for a lifetime of leadership.

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