YES on Proposition 11

    WHAT IT WOULD DO: Amend the California constitution to re-assign the geographic boundary-drawing of the state’s 120 legislative districts and four Board of Equalization districts — currently a task undertaken once every 10 years by the state legislature — to a 14-member commission consisting of five Democrats, five Republicans and four independents.


    Voters hold an obligation to more heavily scrutinize any initiative that would go so far as to amend the state constitution — after all, those largely permanent standards have made up the DNA of California since its creation. But this necessary conservatism to such grave change shouldn’t blind us to perfecting our genetic makeup where there exists even a minor chance for it to more justly represent us.

    Proposition 11’s aspiration to shift districting power from those it would strategically serve to a board of evenly distributed party representatives is an opportunity to iron a bureaucratic wrinkle with a long history of personal interests.

    Instead of leaving historically utilized room for gerrymandering — or the budging of district lines to improve one party or politician’s likelihood of election — the new system would level the playing field, place a much-needed check on self-interested legislators and possibly even stir a little bipartisanship into a legislature of stubborn purists.

    Just like with any group of humans, no commission could be perfect, but a complex selection process from a pool of 60 registered voters would bring us the closest possible to a fair 14 — and even with their inevitable Democratic or Republican interests in mind, equality in numbers will prevent anything but an eventual compromise.

    And really, anything is better than letting a politician choose his or her own demographic. Vote yes on Proposition 11.

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