Sometimes more important than the elections themselves is the reallocation of constituencies every ten years after each US census. It’s a big country, and Americans travel a lot. Throw in immigration, and each new numbering means a change in political dynamics.
For California, the big news was the loss of a seat in Congress for the first time in history. The population grew by just 6.1 percent from 2010 to 2020, the lowest on record, at 39.5 million.
In contrast, from 1980 to 1990, when I came here in 1987, the population grew by 25.7 percent. Unsurprisingly, Golden State won seven new House seats in that decade. However, people at the time complained that the census understated the state, costing us another seat in the House of Representatives.
And each seat in the House, of course, also counts as one vote in the Electoral College, which chooses the President. This shows how these new card counts and configurations are always controversial.
Under the system that existed prior to 2010, the Legislature set all boundaries for seats in Congress, Assembly, State Senate, and Equalization Council. Problems with the system were noted in a 2001 comment by the then representative. Loretta Sanchez (Santa Ana Democrat), one of the more outspoken members of Congress.
At the time, the redistribution of constituencies was largely determined by political consultant from the Democratic Party, Michael Berman, a brother of the then Republican Party. Howard Berman, one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress.
In 2001, during the county reallocation process, Sanchez told the Orange County Register how the gerrymandering system worked: “Twenty thousand is nothing to keep your place. I spend 2 million dollars [campaigning] yearly. If my colleagues are smart, they’ll pay their $ 20,000, and Michael [Berman] attract a county in which they can win. Those who refused to pay? God help them. “
The heavily distorted maps he drew then were adopted by the legislature.
The controversy subsided when voters in 2008 approved Proposition 11, which created the Citizens Constituency Redistribution Commission, a non-partisan body to designate new constituencies for the State Assembly and Senate following the 2010 census. In 2010, voters approved Proposition 20, which added drawing of legislative districts to the commission’s responsibilities.
Also in the 2010 ballot was Proposition 27, which would completely end the reform of the reallocation of constituencies, returning this process to Berman and Berman. He lost 59% against 41%. But it is interesting to look at those who supported a return to the old, falsified system. Contributions made to Yes on 27 included:
- Haim Saban, major Democratic donor: $ 2 million;
- AFSCME: $ 1.25 million
- American Federation of Teachers: $ 1 million
- SEIU: $ 200,000
- George Soros: $ 100,000.
Members of Congress:
- Representative Howard Berman: $ 10,000;
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: $ 10,000;
- Representative Adam Schiff: $ 10,000.
Changes in Ethnic Redistribution of Southern California Areas
I want people to just vote on the issues. But often they don’t, voting instead on perceived ethnic interests. This has led to national and state civil rights laws dictating “balancing” ethnic interests to ensure that each major group is represented. These powers are upheld and enforced by the US Supreme Court and lower courts.
As a result, congressional district projects include detailed demographics and maps gleaned from the 2020 Census. I suggest clicking this link to see the maps, specifically this link which opens the demographic PDF followed by the maps themselves.
Instead of using congressional district numbers, for these draft districts, they use cryptic names such as CD_OCSBLA_DRAFT, which includes portions of Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.
Notice the Deviation column in the data. It is estimated that each county will be about the same as any other county, currently the average is 760,066 people. Deviation shows how much each area is above or below the average. In our example from the previous paragraph, this is -5,888 below, or -, 77 percent.
One major change that I have tracked over the years is the movement of black Californians from Los Angeles and San Francisco, either to the hinterland or out of state. Over the past decade, California’s black population has declined 2.7 percent to 2.2 million. They now represent only 6 percent of the state’s population, up from 7 percent in past decades.
As for the South Los Angeles and Watts neighborhoods, until recently, almost all blacks will make up only 39 percent in CD_STHLA_DRAFT (South Los Angeles) and CD_10CORR_DRAFT (Interstate 10 and Central Avenue corridor). These neighborhoods have recently drawn attention to allegations that the construction of the interstate system in the 1950s and 60s destroyed much of the black social cohesion in the area.
A recent KCET article described the story: “Ultimately, Interstate 10 was built across both neighborhoods, destroying hundreds of homes. A similar process occurred 10 miles east of Sugar Hill in Boyle Heights, where five freeways intersect, including 10. This devastating freeway construction process through the colored blocks took place not only in Los Angeles, but also in Minnesota, the Bay Area , Maryland, Louisiana. , Washington, Texas, New York and Massachusetts “.
I would add that this also happened to blacks in my native Detroit. There, as elsewhere, they had less political influence than other ethnic groups to push new highways into areas of other groups. In most places in Europe, this problem was avoided by stopping the autobahns outside the major cities.
Both of these counties are seeing an increase in the number of Hispanics, now 39 percent in the South Los Angeles draft area and 32 percent in Corridor 10.
Redistribution figures show that many blacks have moved to the Inner Empire. For example, CD_RIASB_DRAFT (Riverside San Bernardino) is 14 percent black.
CD_SANTAANA_DRAFT is Santa Ana. This is 50 percent of Hispanics, 27 percent of whites, 19 percent of Asians, and 3 percent of blacks. Basically, this is the 46th arrondissement that is currently owned by the Democratic Republic of Lou Correa and looks safe to him.
CD_NOCOAST_DRAFT is Orange County on the north coast, mainly Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, parts of Irvine and the Laguna Beach Laguna Niguel area. It is close to the 48th arrondissement, which is currently owned by Republican Michelle Steele. But maybe a little more conservative and republican.
It was a tough fight for her to defeat incumbent Democrat Harley Rode in 2020 – and for him – to take him away from then-Republican Dana Rohrabacher in 2018. Expect another tough fight. But with Democrats in trouble in November 2022, Steel is the favorite to keep the seat.
Now it is 66 percent white, 16 percent Asian, 14 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent black.
CD_SOCNSD_DRAFT is the southern coast of Orange County across northern San Diego. This is roughly the same as the current 49th district, owned by Democrat Mike Levin. But the new area will stretch several miles north to part of Laguna Beach and south of San Diego. There probably aren’t many changes in the electorate, although Laguna Beach tends to be more democratic.
The demographics of this draft district are 68 percent whites, 21 percent Hispanics, 7 percent Asians, and 3 percent blacks.
Levin was ranked 49th with 53 percent in 2020 and 56 percent in 2018. If 2022 turns out to be anti-democratic, it could be in trouble.
The area also includes Camp Pendleton. A friend of mine, whose son is a US Marine stationed there, says the Leathery are not too happy with their current commander in chief and the “wakefulness” they are imposing on the military, which could be another headache for Levin.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.