Azavea Atlas

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Redistricting Top 10: CA-23 (1)

You’re such a wonder that I think I’ll stay in bed.

              –Rufus Wainwright

California’s 23rd Congressional District is at the very top of our Top Ten list!

CA-23—a long, skinny strip of land along California’s central coast—is a product of the state legislature’s latest bi-partisan gerrymander. Several California representatives have admitted that the post-2000 Census redistricting effort was an “incumbent retention plan” for both political parties. CA-23 is in good company; the district joins CA-15(#12), CA-53 (#13), CA-38 (#15), and CA-7 (#18) at the top of our least compact Congressional District list, making California a true “wonder” when it comes to gerrymandering.

California's 23rd Congressional District: The least compact U.S. House District

California's 23rd congressional district: The least compact U.S. House District

Hope (and a reason to get out of bed) is in sight. In November 2008, Californians narrowly passed Proposition 11—an amendment to the state constitution that places the authority to draw state-level district boundaries in the hands of an independent, 14-member commission.  The task of redrawing Congressional districts was not part of Proposition 11, though a Congressional Redistricting Initiative may be added to the November 2010 ballot, just in time for the post-2010 Census redistricting process.

And with that we officially launch Redistricting the Nation!