Official pushes for independent redistricting panel

Councilman Jesse Arreguin. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Councilman Jesse Arreguín believes an independent redistricting panel will better serve the Berkeley voters. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley Councilman Jesse Arreguín has launched a ballot initiative to change the city’s approach to redistricting, arguing that “partisan self interest” and a “broken” process have crippled recent efforts, as well as those during the last redistricting attempt more than a decade ago.

Arreguín wants the city to create an independent citizen redistricting commission “that will be insulated from political influence, represent the diversity of the community, and develop lines based on objective criteria that are also not bound by incumbency.”

Among the changes he would like to see is the removal of a current requirement that sitting council members must be included within any proposed district lines that are submitted. 

Arreguín plans to gather enough signatures to put a proposed city charter amendment before the Berkeley voters in November. According to his staffer Anthony Sanchez, Arreguín would need to collect signatures from 15% of Berkeley’s total population of registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Though originally submitted to the city earlier this month, Arreguín submitted updated language to the city this week. It will need to be vetted by the city attorney before any signatures can be collected. Sanchez said he hopes to get the green light from the city next week. 

Sanchez said Wednesday that signatures would need to be collected and submitted by June for consideration for the November ballot.

If approved, Arreguín says the commission would be charged with adjusting district boundaries following the 2014 general election, then every 10 years after the new decennial census count.

Arreguín writes, in his “notice of intent” to circulate a petition, that voters established district elections in 1986, then voted via Measure R in 2012 to remove fixed boundaries to “give the City Council the flexibility to draw boundaries that reflect changes in population and protect communities of interest.”

According to Arreguín, however, council adopted in December 2013 “a controversial map which needlessly divided students and neighborhoods throughout our city, and was drawn for the main purpose of political advantage.”

Supporters of that map have said it represents a broad compromise across a range of positions, and best reflects attempts to rebalance the city’s population and respect neighborhoods of interest, while at the same time creating District 7 boundaries that include 86% student-aged residents. Cal student advocates hoping for a district made up mostly of students helped create that map and have been among its most vocal supporters in recent years.

But some community members — including council members Kriss Worthington (District 7), Max Anderson (District 3) and Jesse Arreguín (District 4) — have said the map removes the most “progressive” voices from District 7 by not including student co-ops, dorms and other group living accommodations. They have said students would be better served with an alternative map submitted by an intern in Worthington’s office at the tail end of the redistricting process last year. That map would include 90% student-aged residents. Since the alternative map was submitted, many students have come out in support of it during public meetings, saying it better represents a diverse group of student voices than the adopted map.

A successful referendum campaign earlier this year forced the City Council either to rescind the adopted map, or put it before the voters. A council majority voted last week to put the issue to the voters in November, rather than rescind the decision.

Arreguín writes that he believes there is a “clear conflict of interest” when council members have the “sole power” to choose district boundaries, and references state legislation from 2008 that led to the creation of an independent redistricting commission at the state level.

He said two successful referendum campaigns dating back to 2001 signal a broken process that can only be fixed by taking redistricting decisions away from the council.

Who would serve?

Arreguín’s proposal advocates for a commission composed of 11 registered Berkeley voters who apply for positions on the body, and would then be chosen at random by the city clerk.

Commissioners would collect community input during public meetings, and during three public hearings throughout the redistricting process. The council would not be allowed to revise the boundaries adopted by the commission.

Under Arreguín’s proposal, the final redistricting map would be chosen by majority vote, or six votes from the commission.

Commission members would not be allowed to run or be appointed to the City Council for 10 years from the date of their original appointment to the panel.

Some registered voters would be ineligible to participate: the mayor or current council members; any paid staff for or “immediate family members” of those officials; immediate family of council staff; any elected officers in Berkeley; anyone who has served as campaign staff, volunteers or consultants for council members or candidates within the past 10 years; and anyone who made a reportable monetary or non-monetary contribution to any council or mayoral candidate within the last 10 years.

The commission would include at least one person from each council district, one person drawn from a pool of UC Berkeley student names, and two additional names drawn at random from all the applicants.

To fund the commission’s efforts, the council would allocate “necessary funds to support the work of the commission, including funds necessary for community outreach, costs for city staff time associated with supporting the work of the commission, and the hiring of any necessary consultants or outside counsel.”

Arreguín has also submitted language that would allow sitting council members to be drawn out of their districts if keeping them in would conflict with the goals of the redistricting process, by dividing communities of interest, or resulting in “a significant population deviation,” for example.

The commission also would be required to issue a report about why the sitting council member had been drawn out, and that official would be allowed to finish his or her term. Those council members would not, however, be allowed to run again, except in the new district in which they reside.

Berkeleyside has posted Arreguín’s draft charter amendment on NewsGenius. Click the link to weigh in with your own annotations. The NewsGenius annotated version is embedded below:

Related:

Berkeley redistricting maps to be on November ballot, judge to choose which lines to use (03.12.14)
Council majority pushes redistricting decisions to March (02.26.14)
Berkeley redistricting referendum effort prevails (02.03.14)
Long-time Berkeley progressives back referendum drive (02.03.14)
Redistricting opponents secure signatures to secure vote (01.22.14)
Op-ed: We don’t need a redistricting referendum (01.10.14)
Tight deadline to get redistricting referendum on ballot (01.03.14)
Redistricting map splits council, community (12.18.13)
Redistricting map approved, referendum idea looms (12.04.13)
Berkeley council may consider 2 campus district maps (09.12.13)
Redistricting meeting sheds light on past process (08.09.13)
Berkeley Council denies last-minute redistricting proposal (07.08.13)
Berkeley council to consider two city redistricting maps (05.08.13)
Redistricting plans focus on student-majority district (04.26.13)
Berkeley could face most dramatic redistricting in 27 years (01.11.13)
City defers redistricting, plans charter amendment (01.18.12)
Cal students file redistricting proposal with the city (09.30.11)

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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  • guest

    The commission is randomly selected from applicants, but we all know that most extremely partisan people living in Berkeley will be the most likely to apply.

    Expect a commission that is bitterly divided. Which side has a majority depends on chance and on which side whips up the most fervor and gets the most people to apply.

  • guest

    How much more time, energy and money can we spend on issues other than what are supposed to be the primary duties of the City Council? We digress. Again.

  • EricPanzer

    I support the idea of a commission in principle, but this proposal has some significant flaws. As I understand it, since these potential amendments would be added to the charter by a popular vote, the only way to change even the most minute aspects would be another popular vote.

    Just one example of a problem with this proposal is its “selection” process. By removing anyone who has so much as donated to or volunteered for a sitting council member, you’re pretty much already eliminating the most savvy and politically active people in Berkeley, and likely most people who have any redistricting knowledge or experience. (One also wonders how one will define and verify what is considered “volunteering.”) This requirement is a double-edged sword if ever there was one. Compound this with a random selection process the overall competency of the commission seems, at best, a crap shoot. Moreover, making the selection process random means that whatever political interests manage to recruit the most applicants will be at a significant advantage. There must be a better approach.

    I hope Jesse comes back with a simplified version of the proposal that emphasizes broad strokes rather than minute details. I want to support this idea, but can’t in its current form.

  • AnthonySanchez

    As expected. This is certainly better than our current approach, but I don’t expect anyone involved with the majority faction supporting something that takes away their power.

  • Hyper_lexic

    we fight so much because the stakes are so small…

    stealth edit: apparently this is known as Sayre’s law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayre's_law) – TIL…

  • John Freeman

    Just to answer a few of your issues:

    A campaign “volunteer” under state law is an individual who donates personal or professional services to a campaign. It’s not an ambiguous term.

    Uh… it’s rather self-serving of you to suggest that it’s mostly campaign partisans who are “savvy” enough to participate in redistricting. You do note correctly that the rule excludes the most “politically active” partisan campaigners, which is rather the point.

    I think it would be funny to hear you try to define “competence” in the way that you mean when you say the competence of the commission will be a “crapshoot”.

    You correctly note that the process will give a real though non-decisive advantage to the democratic majority among applicants in each pool and to a democratic majority city-wide. It’s unclear why you would oppose this. It’s funny that you of all people raise the spectre of political shenanigans.

  • guest

    This replaces the power of the elected majority with the power of the demagogues who can stir up more people to volunteer.

  • John Freeman

    Your complaint is that the commission might be too democratic. My goodness. Well that lays the controversy bare, doesn’t it?

  • AnthonySanchez

    Would you say the same for the State commission?

  • Alina

    “Among the changes he would like to see is the removal of a current
    requirement that sitting council members must be included within any
    proposed district lines that are submitted.”
    For this reason alone I want to see this proposal move forward. The incumbency requirement is a very constricting condition and makes for funny looking maps.

  • tor_berg

    Anthony, this is not how the State Commission is selected. The State Redistricting Commission is evenly divided between registered members of the major political parties to ensure a partisan balance. Since city offices are non-partisan, how does Berkeley’s commission achieve balance? Randomly selecting a commissioner from each council district would not have the same effect.

    Volunteers to the State Commission are vetted by the Auditor’s Applicant Review Panel for relevant skills and qualifications. Then legislative leaders have the discretion to strike qualified candidates. Random selections from that limited pool make up the first 8 commissioners, then those 8 select commissioners for the remaining 6 seats. So it’s a long way from a purely random selection process.

    As I read Jessie’s proposal, it does not just disqualify those who have contributed to the campaigns of sitting council members. It disqualifies anyone who has contributed to any local candidate at any time in the last 10 years. So, for instance, all the politically active neighborhood association people who contributed to Jacquelyn McCormick’s campaign would be ineligible to serve on the commission until at least 2022, after then next round of redistricting.

    Most politically aware people in Berkeley would thus be barred from participating. This seems like more of a recipe for amateur hour than a truly representative commission.

    I’m also curious about the rationale for setting aside a commission seat specifically for Cal students. If we have a student district that’s already getting a seat, why do we need to reserve a second seat for Cal students?

    I think this is a good first step, but it needs a lot of work before I would support it.

  • tor_berg

    I disagree that the selection process is democratic, when such a broad cross section of the population is disqualified from serving. Jessie’s proposal disqualifies anyone who has “made any reportable monetary or non-monetary contribution to any candidate for Mayor or City Council within the last 10 years.”

    So if you volunteered to do door-to-door canvassing for Kriss’s mayoral campaign, you are ineligible until after the next round of redistricting. That seems quite arbitrary and unfair.

  • guest

    No, the point is that it would be undemocratic. It would replace the democratically elected majority with random volunteers who most are stirred up by partisan feelings.

  • guest

    All council members should be required to spend at least 2 weeks a year filling potholes in Berkeley with the Public Works Department. This would ensure that we get some useful work from the representatives, and it might help them reset their priorities to more immediate issues.

  • John Freeman

    So if you volunteered to do door-to-door canvassing for Kriss’s mayoral campaign, you are ineligible until after the next round of redistricting. That seems quite arbitrary and unfair.

    There are nearly 80,000 voters registered in Berkeley. What would estimate the number of disqualified campaign volunteers to be? I would estimate it to be some three figure number: probably less than 1% of voters, certainly much less than 2%.

    I disagree that the selection process is democratic, when such a broad cross section of the population is disqualified from serving.

    You are making your case with nothing more than unjustified prejudicial language (“such a broad cross section”). The number of people excluded from eligibility by these rules appears to be quite tiny.

    Jessie’s proposal disqualifies anyone who has “made any reportable monetary or non-monetary contribution to any candidate for Mayor or City Council within the last 10 years.”

    State law has the same kind of restriction.

    Meanwhile you objected to Anthony that the rules are flawed because they do not require partisan balance in (a) an overwhelmingly Democrat city; (b) a city that does not hold partisan elections. I think that objection is simply incoherent. Saying that ensuring district representation on the commission isn’t the same as ensuring party representation is tautological but has no obvious relevance.

  • John Freeman

    Mainly here I would like to see you get past merely raising a spectre of supposed “special interests” and get to specifics. I’ve posed some questions for you below.

    A political process that excludes any portion of the citizenry for arbitrary reasons — whether 1% or 99% — is undemocratic by definition.

    There is nothing “arbitrary” about excluding successful and unsuccessful candidates, their major funders, and their campaign agents.

    The potential for special interests to stack the volunteer pool is a significant flaw in this proposal.

    Let’s explore that.

    What “special interests” do you have in mind and by what means you think these “special interests” will achieve the stacking?

    How will these “special interests” operate the requirements that: “Commission members or staff supporting the commission may not communicate
    with or receive communications about redistricting matters from anyone outside of a public hearing.”?

    Remember here that the commissioners will be subject to both the Brown Act and Berkeley’s Open Governance laws. Public participation in map development is mandatory under the rules. A “special interest” would need not only to gain control of 6 out of 11 votes but then, additionally, settle for a map that would not draw yet another referendum.

    Finally: The council will be obligated to establish an “application and outreach process” by ordinance to recruit commission applicants.

    How do you think the officials defining that ordinance can manipulate that to “stack” the applications in their favor?

  • Just curious

    How does it work in other parts of the Bay Area? Any difference between this side of the tunnel and the other?

  • guest

    It is undemocratic because the minority faction in Berkeley politics will probably be the majority on the commission.

    They can’t win elections democratically, but they can win the majority on this commission by getting lots of people to volunteer to be members. We saw how many volunteers they could get during the referendum signature gathering. The referendum is democratic, because this minority is referring the law to the electorate, where the majority rules. The commission is not democratic because this minority is making the final decision.

    People who have time on their hands (because they are unemployed or underemployed) are more likely to support the council minority, and they are the ones who can be mustered up as volunteers.

  • John Freeman

    People who have time on their hands (because they are unemployed or
    underemployed) are more likely to support the council minority

    You should campaign using that assertion.

  • George Beier

    This is a good idea. Perhaps the selection of commissioners is too restrictive, but I suspect this is just the beginning of that conversation. I gotta give Jesse some props here. What he have clearly isn’t working and at least he’s trying to find a way out.

  • andrew johnson

    Agree. This is a very significant and well-thought effort to address some serious and glaring deficiencies in the current system. I would eagerly throw my name in the ring, but alas, I have donated time and money to past council candidates… sigh.

  • Bill N

    While this sounds nice in principle I have, based on an admitted cursory reading, three
    immediate problems with the measure.
    First, sub section g 1 that requires that a person cannot be selected if
    they have “made any reportable monetary or non-monetary contribution to any candidate for Mayor or City Council within the last 10 years.” This disenfranchises a wide swath of people who have supported ANYONE even if they have never served on the council. I suppose you’ll have a
    committee of students and new comers.
    Second, it appears in subsection h 5 that the committee shall have a budget and outside consultants and the city shall “allocate necessary funds to support the work of the commission, including funds necessary for community outreach, costs for city staff time associated with supporting the work of the commission, and the hiring of any necessary consultants or outside counsel.” How will this work if the committee members want X and the council appropriates Y? Can they sue – after all they can arrange outside counsel?
    Thirdly, I can see the section i 5 being used to create interminable delays worse that the last redistricting mess that prompted this effort.

  • AnthonySanchez

    (g)(1) seems to be giving a lot of consternation to some people, presumably because they would be disqualified. Frankly, do we want someone who has been openly partisan in a local context to be able to decide lines? The idea is of insulation and reducing the likelihood of proxies replicating the same partisan interests as the Council.

    (h)(5) highly doubtful. Council would allocate a block budget and the City would be smart enough to know what is “necessary” enough to prevent such a challenge. Necessary does not include above and beyond.

    (i) (5) makes no effective difference over currently exists in terms of referending redistricting map. The alternative is to exempt it altogether from the process, but that’s not a good government sell.

  • John Freeman

    Just to give you some technical help here:

    Even without section I(5), state law requires that a new map can be challenged by referendum. The law requires that the referendum vote shall not occur less than 90 days from the certification of the petition (so no new delay is introduced here). What I(5) adds to this is that it makes it the duty of the commission to try, during those 90 days, to reach a compromise. If they fail, the referendum continues as normal. I(5) also (pro forma) makes it clear that Berkeley’s home rule rights with respect to the referendum process apply.

    Section h(5) obligates not to prevent the commission from doing its job by withholding funding. It does not give the commission a “blank check”. As for the possibility of a lawsuit: any part of the city government can sue any other. That’s a fact of life. The commission could sue council with or without this provision. The commission would not automatically win just because it requested more money than council was willing to authorize.

    Point of trivia: last we’ve heard, the council majority faction is currently working up a lawsuit against some other part of the city, presumably the city clerk. (It would make sense to sue the city clerk because unless she is ordered by a court, the clerk lacks the charter authority to submit a redistricting map to the county registrar for November. There is an actual dispute over what map should be in effect in November.)

    Section g(1) says what you think but I think you are mis-estimating the number and nature of disqualified people.

  • guest

    Another redistricting initiative? One hopes that this signals the death throes of a dysfunctional political system instituted in 1986 to bad effect: a small city with small districts without term limits. Rather than applying band aids to a broken system, we need major surgery: charter reform. Start with term limits! Then to aid those with a smaller purse and fewer connections: 4 districts and 4 at-large plus the mayor. 2 terms of 4 years each for district representatives, then they get a chance to run for at-large or major for 2 more terns of 4 years. Talented legislators will get 16 years in local government. That seems enough to me. We need some new energy.

  • Bill N

    (g) (1) assumes that, because I may have given any $ to someone several years ago I can’t be objective. That’s offensive to me and reason enough to vote against it. If that were changed to be less draconian I would certainly consider supporting it as I did the state commission.

  • tor_berg

    (g) (1) also fails to achieve the stated objective. I think I’ve been pretty strongly supportive of the Mayor and my Councilmember, but I haven’t contributed anything to anybody’s campaign, monetarily or otherwise. You could definitely call me “openly partisan,” but it does not appear that I would be disqualified from the proposed commission.

    What about political appointees? Why aren’t those appointed to city commissions barred? They tend to be some pretty partisan people.

    It makes it look like these criteria are aimed at certain socioeconomic class rather than simply “biased” people.

    If the selection is truly random, why should anyone be disqualified? Above, John Freeman assures us that the depth of the commission membership, as well as the guarantees of public oversight and transparency, would mitigate any attempt at stacking the commission. Great! If it’s impossible to stack the commission, why is it necessary to disqualify anyone?

  • John Freeman

    I think you are overlooking a basic principle when you ask:

    If the selection is truly random, why should anyone be disqualified?

    Answer: To eliminate even the appearance of a conflict of interest between regulated campaign activity and redistricting commission activity.

    What about political appointees? Why aren’t those appointed to city commissions barred? They tend to be some pretty partisan people.

    Hopefully the distinction is now clearer for you:

    Most of the list of people excluded are those who have entered a legally significant fiduciary relationship with a campaign for mayor or district council seat.

    Also on the list are council members, their staffs, and the immediate families of these groups.

    Members of city commissions have not entered a similar fiduciary relationship with a council campaign, at least not in their capacity as commissioner.

    There is a small technical bug in the language Berkeleyside posted: officers, donors, and volunteers to unsuccessful campaigns are excluded but unsuccessful candidates seem to be missing from the list.

    The point of the list of people excluded from the commission is not to ensure a commission whose members have no political opinions.

    Rather, it is to maintain a firm separation between regulated campaign activity, and the redistricting commission.

  • chris

    Please dont forget that the reason for Arreguins ballot proposal in the first place is because the Council majority imposed what can only be described as a political “power grab” targeting Kriss Worthington.

    The new District 7 boundaries are a thinly-veiled attempt by the Council majority to unseat Worthington in a future election by re-arranging his district boundaries…this is patently obvious and undeniable…

    Shame on Councilmember Moore—a former Worthington aide who was mentored by Worthington—–for voting with the Council majority against his former boss…

  • guest

    Kriss already uses it as his key political strategy. Why shouldn’t others join in?

  • guest

    You are saying that the commission will be just as politicized as the council. The commission will exclude people who have a “fiduciary” relationship to the council but will not exclude those who are fiercely partisan.

    That means there is no reason for forming this commission. The only argument for the commission is that is would make redistricting less partisan. You have just blown away that argument.

    The only difference from the council that that this commission will exclude people who have enough money to give donations to candidates, so it will be filled with people who have little money and lots of time on their hands – the unemployed and underemployed supporters of the council minority.

    Why is it good government to replace one partisan redistricting process with another that is just as partisan? Why is it democratic to replace a redistricting process dominated by the majority party with one dominated by the minority party?

    Why in the world would the majority go along with this proposal?

  • tor_berg

    if you reject the principle that campaign activities deserve special and suspect treatment, you are rejecting a hell of a lot more than just Jesse’s reforms

    The State Redistricting Commission disqualifies those who have contributed more than $2,000 to a single candidate in any given year during the prior 10 years. Jesse’s proposal disqualifies anyone who has made any contribution at all, monetary or non-monetary, during the past 10 years. There’s a pretty vast gulf between those two standards.

    For better or worse it is an established principle of Berkeley law that we do not treat multiple commission memberships as a source of potential conflict of interest (see BMC 3.80).

    Jesse’s proposal amends the City Charter. It is a proposal to change established Berkeley law. Given the proposed commission’s portfolio, why would we note take the opportunity to update defined conflicts?

    You never did explain you just changed the subject and started misquoting me on it. I’ll thank you to stop that.

    I sincerely don’t understand how I’ve misquoted you. I did not change the subject; we are continuing to discuss the make-up of the commission. Jesse’s proposal makes some political determinations about who is fit to serve on the commission. (You still haven’t explained why so many Cal students need to be on the commission.) This is already an attempt to “stack” the commission. You responded to my earlier comment with assurances of oversight and transparency, but you did not confront the plain mathematical fact underlying my comment. If a faction recruits 100 volunteers and an opposing faction recruits five volunteers, then a random selection from that pool is clearly going to favor the former.

    For the record, I think a randomly selected redistricting commission is a bad idea. That is not how the State Redistricting Commission is selected. If any city commission needed some expertise, this is the one. We need to be much more purposeful about who is making such important recommendations. But if selection is purely random, then the rationale for disqualifying some constituencies and over-representing others is pretty weak.

  • John Freeman

    You are saying that the commission will be just as politicized as the council.

    I’m certain that is not what I’ve said but if that is what you believe you should vote against it.

  • Helen T.

    You’re not using the term “fiduciary” correctly.

  • John Freeman

    Jesse’s proposal disqualifies anyone who has made any contribution at all, monetary or non-monetary, during the past 10 years.

    No it doesn’t. It bans people who have made reportable contributions, who were campaign employees or officers, or who gave personal or professional services to a campaign.

    The dollar threshold is lower than for state races — and so are campaign budgets.

    Given the proposed commission’s portfolio, why would we note take the opportunity to update defined conflicts?

    In my view it’s both because the perfect is the enemy of the good and because I do not believe any perfect system is achievable.

    The system Jesse and Anthony have put forward is harmonious with existing law at all levels of government. It eliminates a glaring conflict of interest that was baked into the charter in 1986 and worsened by Measure R in 2012.

    Under the charter since 1986, lines have been chosen by the city’s most active campaigners.

    With these reforms, those campaigners, their staff and family, and their campaign organizations are excluded. It’s that simple.

    I sincerely don’t understand how I’ve misquoted you.

    You do so when you write, for example:

    Above, you’ve assured us that there’s no need to worry about the make-up of the commission because “commissioners will be subject to both the Brown Act and Berkeley’s Open Governance laws.”

    I said no such thing.

    You raised the specter of “special interests” stacking the volunteer pool. I pointed out some factors that make such a scheme high effort with low probable payout. Among the factors are the open government provisions.

    I asked you to explain how such a scheme would work. Put us in the smoke-filled back-room if you will. What’s the plot?

    That’s not the same thing as indifference to the composition of the commission: it’s indifference (unless you can make a better case for it) to the specter of a plot by “special interests” to accomplish some aim by (somehow) stacking the volunteer pool.

    You still haven’t explained why so many Cal students need to be on the commission.

    The proposal reserves one seat for students. In my view this is necessary because Berkeley has had political players working to disenfranchise students since at least ’86. (I mean: 1886.)

    Why have “so many” seats for hills residents?

    If a faction recruits 100 volunteers and an opposing faction recruits five volunteers, then a random selection from that pool is clearly going to favor the former.

    I’m trying to identify the actual scheme here that makes this different from saying merely that more popular views are more likely to be represented.

    If someone invested in campaigning has a seat on the commission there’s an easy to identify potential conflict. For example, their vote for or against a map that would draw their candidate out of her district conflicts with their campaign interests (e.g., their “investment” in the form of donations, or their future employment as campaign staff).

    If someone sits on the commission because a mostly-non-student neighborhood association encouraged non-students from district 7 to volunteer — good for them! As with other commissioners they bring to the table their particular perspective on the issues at stake. I think we’re still very likely to have a much less problematic outcome than we’ve had in the past two redistricting cycles, leaving it up to council.

  • Guest

    Your post seems unnecessarily dripping with passive-aggressive sarcasm and attacks. I understand from your previous replies that you have a personal dislike of Mr. Panzer but please try to be more neutral in your replies.

    [This comment has been moderated. -Eds.]

  • Guest

    Pithy, and pointless.

    Shutting down discussion without offering a real rebuttal.

  • Guest

    Those who use a torrent of text to mask the fact that they are not experts in the subjects about which they are pontificating commonly make simple errors of that type.

  • guest

    Just to give you some technical help here:

    Please state your qualifications for giving anyone technical advice on this subject. What schools are you an alumni of? What degrees were you awarded? What professional experience do you have?

    Unless you have credentials to back it up, playing pretend expert on the internet doesn’t get you very far.

  • emraguso

    We got this update from CM Arreguín’s office toward the end of March, and will report back about the signature-gathering effort ASAP: “The highlights of the changes are an expansion of the commission from 11 to 17 people so as to maximize participation and the diversity of that participation. Additionally, past contributions to candidates are no longer a disqualification. An applicant, however, must disclose under penalty of perjury any and all contributions to such candidates and any communications regarding redistricting with any elected official or their agents. Another highlight regards how a map by the commission would be referended. Rather than giving the commission the choice to rescind and compromise OR put it on the ballot, it mandates a cooling off period to attempt a good faith resolution. Only after attempts at a compromise fail can the commission put the disputed map on the ballot, but must also include an alternative map by the proponents of the referendum, if provided.”