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Our View: Lines are set; move on

Posted: September 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.

After many meetings and lobbying, the redistricting process is done. But some aren’t happy about the outcome.
The maps are drawn. The dust is settling. The Santa Clarita Valley was carved up a bit, especially in the Senate map. And now we’ll have to see how it will affect the political future of the SCV, and California as a whole.

Now many critics are turning their criticisms to the process itself  — a process with which we are satisfied.
As we’ve said before, this year’s redistricting process was taken away from the elected officials who have had a history of drawing district lines to their benefit.

The 2011 process, which is done to reflect changes brought about by last year’s census, was performed by a bipartisan group known as the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. It was composed of 14 regular people from all over the state — five Democrats, five Republicans and four of neither party.

They were tasked with redrawing the lines for Assembly, Congress, Senate and Board of Equalization based on input from public hearings, letters, emails and calls received over the summer from various communities throughout  the state, including our valley, which made its voice heard loud and clear concerning how it wanted the lines drawn.

This was no easy task, when one factors in that there was a seemingly infinite number of different suggestions and opinions in how to carve up the state for the four different maps.

But the group had to make compromises on our behalf, and any compromise inherently disappoints all parties involved to at least a small degree. For us, we were kept largely whole on the Assembly and Congressional maps, but the Senate lines split us nearly in half.

Overall, however, the commission was responsive to our lobbying.

All in all, the commission did its job — and the results should be accepted.

Regardless of what people think about the district divisions, the voters asked for a citizens commission to handle the redistricting process when we approved the Voters First Act in 2007. So, griping about the final map and trying to undo the process only serves to undermine the voice of the voters who wanted to take the power away from politicians whose motivations in drawing the lines were often self serving.

There were some winners and some losers in the current process — but that’s how it works. A democratic process doesn’t result in everyone always being happy.

What really matters is that it was left in the hands of the voters of California — a concept often forgotten in politics.

Instead of fighting the results of the process, citizens of this state and their leaders need  to move on by focusing on other state issues and state problems — many of which are far more complicated than redistricting.


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