This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Need to Know, Friday, April 13, 2012: Power to the people

This week's host Ray Suarez

This week, Need to Know travels to California to explore the state’s “experiment in democracy” — where ordinary citizens, not elected officials, are responsible for redistricting.

What’s on this week:

By the people

Need to Know takes a closer look at a unique California plan that makes ordinary citizens, not elected officials, responsible for redistricting.

The people’s choice

In New York City, residents of one district, not the local councilwoman, decide how $1 million in discretionary funds are spent.

American Voices: Mayor Ed Lee

This week’s “American Voices” essay is from Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, the city’s first Asian-American mayor.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.


  • Simon Mayeski

    Power to the people link is wrong (at 11am PDT 4/12)

  • Mcarr

    Power to the People at last! This is just the beginning of taking back out country. A small but very important step.

  • Mcarr


  • Lilian G.

    This was a great segment and I was happy to see citizens making these decisions. However I was concerned with the idea that race is the defining characteristic/marker of shared values. What about class, income? Just because I am black doesn’t mean I share the same values or want the same representation. The idea that someone of the same race will better represent me is a mistake that communities keep making. I live in Philadelphia, a city where the majority of politics are black and the majority of the poor are black. They haven’t been looking out for poor blacks or the middle class blacks who also reside in its communities. 

  • Easkey Stewart

    I think the program is incomplete without a comparison with the Arizona Voter Initiative, passed for an Independent Redistricting Commission.

    They did their work, and a Republican controlled Legislature immediately set about trying to overturn their deliberations, legislatively.