(Courtesy photo)

Black communities through the Los Angeles region, from Pasadena and Pomona to Long Beach and Los Angeles, have endured a lot over the last 18 months. The COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the follow up of regional and nationwide protests and the reimagining of policing, and now the importance of vaccinating our entire community are just a few.

The latest battle is heating up, and it’s called redistricting.

Every ten years, hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the State of California – cities, counties, school districts, special districts, the state legislature, and Congress – are required to use the latest Census data to redraw political boundaries (districts) so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is taking place throughout our communities right now, including the statewide proceedings of the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission (wedrawthelinesca.org). In less than six months, this Commission will decide the boundaries and the opportunities for Black political representation for the next ten years throughout the State of California for the State Assembly, the State Senate, Congress, and the Board of Equalization.

The importance of ensuring Black political representation in our State has never been more apparent. In Los Angeles County, currently seven of the 120 members of the State Legislature are Black and from Los Angeles County (5 Assembly Members and 2 State Senators). That’s 70 percent of the current members of the California Legislative Black Caucus. Only three members of Congress from California are Black, as well as one member of the Board of Equalization. Two of the members of Congress come from Los Angeles County as well, while the other seats are held in Northern California. Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of elections, and the Black community needs to get engaged now to ensure our communities are grouped together as they have been historically over the last several decades.

The State of California needs your help in identifying where the Black communities are located throughout the region, and what the community’s boundaries are. Collecting information on Communities of Interest, the term used to describe communities, is one of the most important parts of the redistricting process. Our voices must be heard throughout the process to protect Black communities from being split up and ensure we have the opportunity to select candidates of our choice from our communities in the future. Submitting your comments for state legislative, congressional, and Board of Equalization districts can be done in writing via email ([email protected]), by submitting a map and comments to the State Commission (drawmycacommunity.org), or providing verbal testimony at one of the upcoming meetings for the Los Angeles region.


Upcoming Meetings for the Los Angeles region

Fri July 30, 2021 – 4-8pm

Thurs August 12, 2021 – 1-7pm

Wed September 8, 2021 – 1-7pm