By Mario Conde

California is gearing up to see how its political landscape changes by the end of the year thanks to the re-districting process.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission was in Palm Springs last week as part of their State wide tour to get input from the public on the new electoral boundaries. The California Citizens commission is the one that draws the lines ultimately will determine the number of locally elected lawmakers serving in Sacramento and Washington for the next decade.

Redistricting is done after each census to ensure the state’s population is equally divided over the state and federal legislative districts. Historically, legislators drew the district boundaries in closed meetings, often favoring incumbents or their own party. This Commission is independent and committed to including the voices of all Californians in the process. In addition to holding public hearings throughout the State, the Commission is soliciting citizen participation through its website

The public forum in Palm Spring had elected officials and public in general speaking about the new district boundaries. Former County Supervisor and Calexico Mayor, Tony Tirado, was at the meeting and informed the County Board of Supervisors about the possibility of having the Imperial and Coachella Valley in the same congressional district.

“The idea is to have the 51st Congressional District, State Senate District 40, and the 80th Assembly District into one same representation area.” Tirado told the Board.

Tirado mentioned that many people expressed their opinion at the forum and there were many that favored having the Imperial Valley join Riverside County in the Congressional District since they both share similar issues. Others, on the other hand, vehemently oppose having the Imperial Valley be integrated to their region.

The new district boundaries will have the be presented to the State Legislature by this summer for its consideration and review.

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