Two commissioners from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Vince Barabba from Capitola and Connie Galambos Malloy from Alameda, appeared on Forum today, discussing their work and some of the criticism that is already being thrown their way.

The process of congressional redistricting, also called reapportionment, has traditionally functioned largely as a means of protecting the interests of whichever state political party is in power. In most states, after every census, legislators draw up the new boundary lines of each district. In doing so, they have the power to lump together different populations that may share no other commonality than voting patterns helpful to the majority party’s nominee.

In California, however, the passage of Proposition 20 completed the transfer of redistricting power from the political parties to an ostensibly non-partisan commission.

We caught up with the commissioners today in the KQED green room and asked them what the criteria are for drawing the state’s new political boundaries, including what the term “communities of interest” — one of the new mandates for grouping people together — means.

For a primer on redistricting and the new commission, see our News Fix interview on the subject with KQED’s John Myers last year.

And listen to the entire Forum segment here:


Video: Citizens Redistricting Commissioners Explain Their Job 31 March,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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