By the people

 

In California, a citizens’ commission is now in charge of redistricting. That work, done every 10 years after the census is taken, is normally left to state legislators. The fact is many lawmakers were redrawing electoral districts to increase their own chances for re-election and to punish their political opponents — a process known as gerrymandering. Now, it’s being left to that citizens’ commission to figure out. The result: some of those running for re-election this year, who used to have safe seats, suddenly find themselves on the hot seat.

On a recent Saturday morning in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, hundreds of families gather for opening day of the local Little League season. Among those in the crowd: the local congressman, Democrat Brad Sherman. This year, he’s up for re-election and an event like this is an irresistible campaign stop.

By most accounts, people here like Sherman. Nonetheless, after 15 years in office, he’s fighting for his political life. The reason? A new experiment in democracy has radically changed California’s congressional map, throwing many once-safe incumbents like Sherman into competitive races.

 

Comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JZPFT3IGIPJU64TDC6GYD4Z2O4 Carlos N

    Human nature is just that ,replacing people with people is not the way to prevent favoriism from creeping in .

    Rather, it should be legislated that all representive districts must be  of a certain geographic size 
    or represent an equal amount of people.

    The constant favoritism that goes on with every re-districting will legislatively be avoided

  • Dave

    The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission sadly failed to improve our democracy.  Only one of California 53 new congressional districts is competitive, plus or minus 2%, of Democrat and Republican registered voters.  42 districts now provide one party or the other an advantage of more than 10%, similar for the Legislature.  Dysfunctional government is guaranteed for 10 more years by the new safe seat politicians who will serve their large contributors at the expense of the rest of the citizens.

  • Rick Louden

    You think that was power to the people check this out.
    Dear family and friends,
     
         I am trying it again. My personal goal is to get at least a million signatures on this petition to send an unmistakable message to Washington. It calls for the elimination of the house of representatives and giving us their votes. What do we need representatives for anymore? We have smartphones, computers and the Internet. A simple amendment to the costitution would make it where unless more primative conditions prevail, we can vote our own minds on bills before Congress. How it would probably work: The senate is divided in half. one half develops their bills and the other half develops ours. A bill comes up for a vote (no more than 4 per week)(2 from them 2 from us), senators for and against the bill make a video (up to an hour long), the president can also make a video about the bill. A citizen has to watch the videos before they can cast their vote. If they still can’t make up their mind, they can click on the citizen comments and read them or click on the expert opinions tab and see those. Then they can either vote or abstain. If the President presents a bill, it would replace one of ours or the Senate’s for the week. 
     
    Problems that people have brought up:
     
         What about hackers manipulating our votes? There could be a triple redundancy check on our votes. First. two supercomputers register our votes. One of these is the official record and is accessable to records. The other is a sealed system that randomly checks the official one for differences. It only sounds off and reports when something is off. Second, a major accounting firm that usually monitors big contests could monitor the official record and randomly call citizens to verify their votes. Third, the branch of the U.N. that already monitors elections around the world could be expanded to check our votes as well.
         Wouldn’t this make the crazy groups more powerful? A minimum two week time period for each bill to be voted on would allow the watch dogs among us the opportunity to raise the alarm and vote against their bills. Also, the Senate could still block a bill and the President could still veto it. The only difference there would be that they better have strong convictions against it and a boat load of good reasons.
     
         We would still have a constitutional, representative government. The only differences are that for the first time in history we would truly be a government for and by the people. Pork barrel politics, black ops, partisan pollitics and big money influences would all be either eliminated totally or greatly reduced. This is not a new idea. I believe that if the founding fathers would have had the means to do so they would have set it up this way from the start. Now here is the link to the petition:
     
      http://wh.gov/neH       Please take the time to set up your account at the white house and sign the petition now while your thinking about it and before life intrudes. We can change Washington for the better and make our country better. We can make the country a better place to live for ourselves and our decendants. You will have to set up an account. Log off. Then use the link above to sign the petition. For those of you that did last time, thank you and it will be easier this time. Lets take back our country.                                                                                                                                                      Love and Light,                                                                                                                                                            Rick