Thmazing's Thutopia: Thmazing tells you how to vote on Props 20 and 27
It's true there's something enticing about removing some of the politics out of redistricting California. It's true it seems to be the right thing to do. Still, can we really depend on this solution? What do we know about Proposition 20?
Proposition 20 would give power over redistricting of California's congressional districts to a panel of 14 randomly selected volunteers. They are required by law to have no experience in government or real-life redistricting. Also, the selection process is something only a tax accountant could love. Seriously. Anonymous tax accountants play a big role in the selection. Proposition 20 mandates that all California political districts be segrerated by income level. Yes, each district is to include only people of the same income as well as employment opportunities and other living standards. The words used in the legislation are "similar living standards . . . similar work opportunities."
Why? What purpose could there be to mandate the separation of people by income level into different districts? Through this scheme, the law would force San Francisco's high-end Nob Hill area (the Mark Hopkins Hotel, the Fairmont Hotel) to be in the same congressional district as the equally high-end Marina district (beautiful homes overlooking the scenic Golden Gate Bridge, vistas of San Francisco Bay) but neither of these neighborhoods could be in the same district as the high-unemployment ghetto of Hunters Point. Why is this so? All of these neighborhoods are currently in the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and all three areas contain Pelosi enthusiasts. What good comes from slicing out the primarily African American area of Hunters Point out of Peloxi's district? How does that imrpove life in the ghetto or on Nob Hill or in California. Does it stop our state from going broke? Does it eliminate the California debt?
You know what it sound like to me? It sounds like a throwback to an awfull, bygone era, "Jim Crow." Most voters today remember that time only because of what was written in history books. Others seem to have forgotten. Districting by race, by class, by lifestyle or by wealth just is not acceptable. Californians should understand these code words. The days of "country club members only" districts or of "poor people only" districts are over aren't they? This is only one reason Proposition 20 should be defeated.
So, what would happen if proposition passes? Redistricting will jeopardize the seniority of California's House members — Republican and Democrat alike. Billions of federal dollars will flow away from California to states like Texas or New York. Those states' senior congressmen will be protected by state legislatures desperate for federal dollars. You know there's a reason the League of women Voters recommends voting against Proposition 20.
Personally, I don't care as much about the loss of senior representation. It's about the level at which this legislation was written. What are the alterior motives behind the legislation? Don't vote for something because of what the stated intent is without looking at the legislation, you know the small type. You wouldn't buy a car without due research. You wouldn't sign any contract without looking it over. This is just as important.
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