This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Census-Based Redistricting Ramps Up in California

The underlying purpose of the US Census is to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and to draw the boundaries of the districts in each state. As I have noted before, California is one of several states which has handed the authority for redistricting to a citizen's commission, rather than having the legislature do it (the Constitution says that in each state the legislature or its designee, will do this). The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has just released its first set of maps for the redistricting of the two houses of the state legislature and for Congressional districts. As you might imagine, these maps have created headlines all across the state. The San Diego Union-Tribune's front page story, for example, included the following comments:

The panel charged with redrawing political boundaries released a set of preliminary maps Friday that could have sweeping implications on future elections in San Diego County and across the state.
How California’s 40 senate, 80 assembly and 53 congressional districts are shaped could determine their partisan breakdown, who gets elected and what issues and positions are advocated for residents.
For local lawmakers, it appears that no incumbents would have to challenge another in the same district. But many would have to run for re-election in new areas and appeal to different voters in more competitive districts.

Commissioners said they already have heard from 1,500 state residents and next will turn their attention to responding to concerns in specific communities.
A second draft will be released July 7, and the final maps are due Aug. 15, when they must be presented to the secretary of state's office for certification.

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