Are legislators playing a shell game with our votes? Redistricting is a term used to draw new legislative boundaries, with the possible hope of usurping the minority vote. As new census data is made available every decade, it is becoming harder for voters to keep track of who represented their respective areas. Particularly minorities. Areas normally held by Democrats, could shift Republican as a direct result. Especially given that a quick glance at the prior legislators before Janice Hahn, for this “area” are all white Republicans.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) members are paid upwards of $300 per day to redraw district maps. Because this body is supposed to be impartial, the 14-member commission consists of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four commissioners from neither major party. The commission was authorized following the passage of California Proposition 11, the Voters First Act, by voters in November 2008. The commissioners were selected in November and December 2010 and were required to complete the new maps by August 15, 2011.
As a direct result, voters may forget that the Congressional District now known as 44 has a long history of being served by African-American politicians. Some would assume that the area has strong Republican ties, which is categorically false. Imagine this author’s astonishment when the Wikipedia page for #CA44 was filled with only white people preceeding current representative Janice Hahn. Where did the Black people go?
Between 2003 and 2013, the 44th district covered an area of Southern California from San Clemente in Orange County on the coast, north-by-northeast inland to Riverside County, including the cities of Corona, Norco, Rubidoux, and Riverside. This area was most famously covered by the late entertainer Sonny Bono.
The 44th District now includes the cities and communities of: Carson, Compton, Downey, East Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach, San Pedro, South Gate, West Rancho Dominguez, Willowbrook and Wilmington.
So where did the area’s former Black elected officials end up? They are now in the Congressional District now known as 37, covered by Karen Bass.
2 Urban Girls has included these images to remind voters who has represented the area now known as #CA44.