New Proposed Political Maps Make 49th, 50th Districts More Competitive

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission just released another set of proposed maps for California's Congressional districts

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The California Citizens Redistrict Commission is made up of 14 citizen commissioners that help redraw the congressional and assembly districts throughout the state after each Census. The commissioners use a set of six criteria to determine how the districts should be drawn, but they also rely heavily on public comment.

According to FiveThirtyEight, a political statistics website, analysis of the proposed maps the San Diego area went from having three safely Democratic seats to two. The site says U.S. Rep. Mike Levin's District, the 49th, will get more competitive with the new proposed boundaries.

"It's always been the expectation that his district will get more competitive because if you grow in any direction it's bordered by Republicans, that’s what happened here," said Thad Kousser, chair of the political science department at UCSD. "Just like everybody expected this 49th, or whatever the new number is, is going to be one of the battleground races in the country for control of congress."

FiveThirtyEight also determined that the 50th District, which has historically always been a Republican stronghold, will still favor Republicans, but less strongly than it has before.

"Certainly Darrell Issa will yet again be one of the targeted Republicans nationally and someone who will likely draw a top tier challenger and will be in another strong political fight," Kousser said.

Patricia Sinay, a commissioner on the California Citizens Redistricting Commission says the team of 14 citizen commissioners is working to redraw the maps based on the criteria and public comment, without taking politics into consideration.

"We haven’t looked at the old maps, we’re not supposed to take into consideration the political, the political ideologies of the communities we’re looking at, we’re not supposed to take into consideration where an incumbent lives and when people say things are getting a little things are all over the place, it makes me excited it means, that we listened to the public," Sinay said.

The Commission is soliciting input from the public before they submit the final maps to the California Secretary of State's office by the end of December. If you'd like to see the new proposed map or submit a comment, visit the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission website.

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