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CERVANTES Bill to Create an Independent Redistricting Commission for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Heads to Governor’s Desk

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – On Tuesday, the Assembly approved Senate amendments to Assembly Bill 1307 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) by a vote of 59-18, sending it to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. This bill will create an independent citizens redistricting commission to draw district boundaries for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors beginning with the 2030 round of redistricting. The commission would also be reconstituted after every census to draw Riverside County’s supervisorial districts in subsequent redistricting cycles.

In early December 2021, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to adopt a supervisorial district map for the 2020 round of redistricting that fractures the Latino community in the County, diluting the Latino community’s voting power and capacity to elect representatives of their choice.

“This failure of a majority of the Board of Supervisors to protect the voting rights of our Latino community illustrates why an independent citizens redistricting commission is needed to draw fair maps for Riverside County,” said Assemblymember Cervantes, Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

AB 1307 is modeled after Senate Bill 958 (Lara, 2016) which successfully created an independent citizens redistricting commission for Los Angeles County. The partisan makeup of the commission would be proportional to the partisan makeup of Riverside County voters. The process of selecting citizen redistricting commissioners is similar to the process used by the statewide independent citizens redistricting commission. The bill also sets out eligibility criteria and restrictions for members of the commission, mostly based on an individual’s current employment or employment history. Individuals who have been candidates for or elected to public office within the preceding ten years would be ineligible to serve as commissioners.

Both Los Angeles and San Diego counties employ independent commissions to draw boundaries for their supervisorial districts. If the two most populous counties in California are able to use independent commissions to draw their maps, then Riverside as the state’s fourth most populous county can as well. And because the bill would not require the creation of a commission until after the 2030 Census, Riverside County would have almost a decade to prepare for implementation.

In July, the enacted 2022-23 State Budget allocated $1 million for the implementation of Assembly Bill 1307.

“As Vice Chair of the Latino Caucus, I am proud to have secured funding through the State Budget for the implementation of this bill, which would help protect the voting rights of our Latino community in Riverside County, and strengthen democracy in our region,” Cervantes said. “We are now one step closer to ensuring that members of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors cannot draw their own district boundaries for their own benefit, and instead places that power where it rightfully belongs—with the people.”

Assembly Bill 1307 heads to the Governor’s desk for his consideration, and must be signed or vetoed by September 30th. You can find more information about AB 1307 here.