Did you attend a local redistricting hearing to offer testimony about your community? If so, rest assured that it paid off. Last week California's Citizens Redistricting Commission released the first set of draft redistricting maps. Upon their release, Greenlining Institute Redistricting Fellow Michelle Romero noted "One thing that's clear is that when communities turned out to make their feelings known, it made a difference."
Unfortunately, so far communities of color have shown up in smaller numbers. Luckily, this is just the first set of maps, and the Commission will continue to hold community meetings across the state to gather input. If you considered attending one, but haven't yet, there's still time! Romero encouraged "Anyone who feels the draft maps don't treat their communities appropriately...to speak up now."
The Commission has already fielded comments from more than 1,500 people. "Our No. 1 priority at this point is to give every single person in California a political voice," said Chairman Gabino Aguirre, who receives hundreds of emails each day about the Commission's work. The Redistricting Commission has until August 15 to submit the final maps to the secretary of state for approval.
Luckily, it's not just Californians who get to participate. See what the redistricting process looks like in your state, and make sure to speak up because you can influence where the lines are drawn!