By Paul Cobb
The Black American Political Action Committee (BAP AC) of Contra Costa County wants residents to step forward and give their opinions on how to redraw Richmond ’s state legislative and congressional district boundaries. Public participation in drawing boundaries is critical.
Lloyd Madden, president of BAPAC, said his organization will encourage every Neighborhood Council in the City of Richmond to submit comments to the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC). “A lot is at stake and some areas could go unrepresented for two years. Fairness and careful consideration must be given to the odd and even numbering of new Senate Districts.
In a letter addressed to Citizens Redistricting Commission, Madden listed BAPAC principles which state that “redrawn boundaries should not negatively impact the distribution of federal resources to Richmond .” BAPAC said boundaries must not dilute, disrupt or split collective voting in the African American community. He said “voting integrity in the African American community must not be compromised. Minorities must have an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.”
“We will work with any person or group that wants to, keep Richmond whole, promote economic empowerment and promote community participation in the local political system,” said Madden.
He also said, “It has been reported that the proposed new boundaries, by design will increase the number of competitive seats in the state Assembly from 9 to 16, state Senate from 3 to 9 and congressional seats from California from 4 to 9. In our opinion the new boundaries could have a significant impact on the City of Richmond and neighboring communities. “With redistricting taking effect with the 2012 elections, BAPAC wants Richmond residents to observe the process timelines with a sense of urgency.
Residents should submit their comments on the redrawn boundaries by e-mail at email@example.com, fax at (916) 651-5711 or by mail to Citizens Redistricting Commission, 901 P Street, Suite 154-A , Sacramento , CA 95814 .