Are Orange County Leaders Using Redistricting to Advance Agenda?

    The board has held only a few meetings on a map that will influence their jurisdictions and the people’s voting power in many future elections.


    As redistricting begins its once every 10 process, Orange County is seeing a lack of public input on its newly proposed supervisorial districts, with concerns that supervisors are playing political games to advance their careers.

    The board of five supervisors, who have held just two hearings on the proposed maps, the bare minimum legally required, have refused to debate the changes in public, which is prompting calls for transparency from the crowd.

    “It is frustrating that there have been months of community hearings and hundreds of public comments, and we really haven’t heard any substantive feedback or response from the board of supervisors — especially during these last two board hearings,” said Cynthia Valencia, a policy advocate, and organizer told Voice of OC.

    Then, after keeping the public out of the process, supervisors spurred sudden changes during a recent board meeting by shortening the amount of time residents were initially promised to be able to review the maps.

    Aside from keeping the public out of the process, the supervisors also seem to be using redistricting as a partisan process that will help boost their reelection chances in the future.

    During a recent meeting, supervisors repeatedly accused each other of gerrymandering, the process where leaders manipulate district lines during redistricting in ways where their own party will get the most votes, helping them win future elections.

    Both Republicans and Democrats on the Board of Supervisors have accused each other of playing a partisan game to help advance their own agendas. After back and forth accusations of partisan power moves, Supervisor Don Wagner argued for a map to appease both parties.

    “The elections code very clearly says…the board shall not adopt supervisorial district boundaries for the purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party,” Wagner said. “Now, that to me is reason to knock out [map] 2 and the maps that come from it, and map five and the maps that come from it.”

    SoCal Daily Pulse


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