Title

"Voters First Act"

October 22, 2007

The People of the State of California hereby make the following findings and declare their purpose in enacting the Act is as follows:

(a) Under current law, California legislators draw their own political districts. Allowing politicians to draw their own districts is a serious conflict of interest that harms voters. That is why 99 percent of incumbent politicians were re-elected in the districts they had drawn for themselves in the recent elections,

(b) Politicians draw districts that serve their interests, not those of our communities. For example, cities such as Long Beach , San Jose and Fresno arc divided into multiple oddly shaped districts to protect incumbent legislators. Voters in many communities have no political voice because they have been split into as many as lour different districts to protect incumbent legislators. We need reform to keep our communities together so everyone has representation.

(c) This reform will make the redistricting process open so it cannot be controlled by the party in power. It will give us an equal number of Democrats and Republicans on the commission, and will ensure full participation of independent voters -whose voices arc completely shut out of the current process, In addition, this reform requires support from Democrats, Republicans, and independents for approval of new redistricting plans.

(d) The independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will draw districts based on strict, non-partisan rules designed to ensure fair representation. The reform takes redistricting out of the partisan battles of the Legislature and guarantees redistricting will be debated in the open with public meetings, and all minutes will be posted publicly on the Internet. Every aspect of this process will be open to scrutiny by the public and the press,

(e) In the current process, politicians are choosing their voters instead of voters having a real choice. This reform will put the voters back in charge.

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