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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Long Beach
Measure DDD - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

78,581 votes yes (60.21%)

51,925 votes no (39.79%)

100% of precincts reporting (219/219).

Shall the City Charter be amended to create and independent citizens commission of Long Beach residents to determine the boundaries of City Council districts every ten years after the national census?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

CHARTER AMENDMENT TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT CITY REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

On August 7, 2018, the Long Beach City Council placed Measure “DDD” on the ballot. The measure proposes to amend the Long Beach City Charter to establish an independent citizens redistricting commission with sole authority for establishing Council districts following the U.S. decennial census, or more frequently if necessary.

The Long Beach City Charter Section 103, “Councilmanic Districts,” currently grants the City Council the authority to establish or change Council district boundaries. The Charter provides that the City Council must examine and modify, if necessary, Council district boundaries at five-year intervals or at any other time the City Council may direct, so that the districts are as nearly equal in population as required under the federal and state constitutions, and other applicable laws.

Measure “DDD” would repeal and replace the existing Long Beach City Charter Section 103 with a new Article entitled “Councilmanic Districts and Redistricting.” The proposed new Article would establish a new Long Beach Independent Redistricting Commission with the exclusive authority to redraw Council district boundaries. The Commission would be independent of Mayor and City Council control.

The Commission would have 13 Commissioners. Nine Commissioners – one from each existing Council district – would be selected from a pool of qualified applicants by a “screening panel,” as described in the proposed measure; those nine persons would then select the remaining four Commissioners, plus two alternates.

The proposed measure sets forth requirements and criteria that the Commission must follow when it draws Council district boundaries. The Commission’s maps must create districts that are as nearly equal as practicable in population, comply with the federal and state constitutions and other applicable laws, and are geographically contiguous. The Commission must also consider the following criteria when drawing a map: existing neighborhoods and community boundaries, communities of interest, integrity and compactness of territory, geography and topography, natural and artificial barriers and boundaries, preservation of population cores that have consistently been associated with each Council district, and any other Commission-adopted criteria.

The proposed measure also includes various housekeeping provisions regarding conduct of public meetings and public comment, record-keeping, administration, and legal challenges to the Commission’s adopted maps.
There are potential fiscal impacts associated with this measure, which are unknown at this time.

Measure “DDD” requires simple majority approval of Long Beach voters to pass. If Measure “DDD” does not pass, the current Charter provision will remain in effect.

A “Yes” vote will approve Measure “DDD”.

A “No” vote will not approve Measure “DDD”.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

YES ON MEASURE DDD – Establishing a Citizens Redistricting Commission

Join Mayor Robert Garcia, City Auditor Laura Doud, City Councilmember Al Austin, Community Leader Charles Song, and Common Cause National Redistricting Manager Dan Vicuna and Vote Yes on Measure DDD.

Every ten years, federal law requires Long Beach to redraw our City Council districts in a process called redistricting. Redistricting decides the boundaries and populations of districts, which determines whether our neighborhoods and communities remain together in the same district for voting and representation purposes.

Redistricting is required to ensure Council districts have equal populations, but often this process is a political football. Currently, sitting Councilmembers decide how the City is divided. We need a system in which voters pick their Councilmembers and not the other way around.

Measure DDD ensures these important decisions are made by unbiased and qualified local citizens, not politicians. We need an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission so the process represents the will of the people.

Measure DDD takes redistricting completely out of the hands of the Mayor and City Council. Local citizens apply, go through a screening process, and then one person from each Council district is randomly selected to be on the Commission, supplemented by four additional citizens to ensure a good and fair representation of our diverse community.

Measure DDD will:
- Create a completely independent Citizens Redistricting Commission whose decisions cannot be overturned by the Council.
- Establish strong criteria for redistricting that keeps communities of interest and neighborhoods together.
- Prohibit gerrymandering in which districts are manipulated to benefit a candidate or party.
- Increase transparency by requiring multiple public hearings in districts so resident input is heard.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure DDD!

ROBERT GARCIA
Mayor of Long Beach

LAURA L. DOUD
City Auditor of Long Beach

AL AUSTIN II
City Councilmember, Long Beach

CHARLES L. SONG
Equity for Cambodians, Co-Chair

DAN VICUÑA
Common Cause, National Redistricting Manager

Arguments AGAINST

A Redistricting Commission that is not truly independent could potentially lead to gerrymandering.

According to this measure, there will be an ostensibly independent citizens commission that will oversee the redistricting efforts. What they don’t tell you is that the commissioners for this commission will be vetted by a “screening panel” composed of the members of the Ethics Commission (if Measure CCC passes), the majority of whose members would be handpicked by the politicians.

A new Redistricting Commission could wield immense influence over the future of the city. It would have the power to control all City Council district boundaries, and if not truly independent potentially lead to gerrymandering. In fact, by deciding which citizens reside in which districts, it could impact who gets elected to office and who does not.

A Redistricting Commission that is flawed at its core is not truly independent it becomes nothing more than a scary power grab by the Mayor and his “rubber-stamping” City Council.

VOTE NO on the self-serving Redistricting Commission!

JUAN E. OVALLE
Outreach Director, People of Long Beach

RAE GABELICH
Former 8th District Council Member

JOHN R. DEATS
Neighborhood Activist

GLENNIS DOLCE
Community Advocate

Replies to Arguments FOR

VOTE NO on Measure DDD

While the concept of a “Citizens Redistricting Commission” is laudable, we believe this amendment mainly serves as cover for other motives.

Don’t be fooled, and don’t get distracted.

The details of this proposed redistricting commission are highly imperfect:

The commissioners would be vetted by a “screening panel” composed of the members of the Ethics Commission (if Measure CCC passes), the majority of whose members would be handpicked by the politicians.

VOTE NO on the self-serving Redistricting Commission!

JUAN E. OVALLE
Director of Outreach, People of Long Beach

DIANA LEJINS
Taxpayer Rights Advocate

JOHN R. DEATS
Neighborhood Activist

GLENNIS DOLCE
Neighborhood Activist

RAE GABELICH
Former 8TH District Councilmember

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Vote Yes on Measure DDD and create an Independent Redistricting Commission.

Ballot arguments should truthfully inform the voters. Unfortunately, the argument opposing Measure DDD does not give you the facts. The opposition falsely argues that the Mayor controls the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Wrong.

Measure DDD explicitly keeps control out of the hands of politicians. The Mayor and City Council have no say in how boundaries are drawn and no ability to review, let alone overturn, the Commission’s work.

Measure DDD expressly prohibits gerrymandering. It also contains clear priorities that a newly empowered and independent citizens redistricting commission must observe to keep existing neighborhoods and communities of interest in one district.

The opposition claims that an Ethics Commission “hand-picked by the mayor” appoints Commissioners but doesn’t tell you that the Ethics Commission would have a very limited role in picking members of the Redistricting Commission. The Ethics Commission randomly picks nine candidates who have already been prescreened by the nonpartisan City Clerk. These nine, one from each Council District, would then pick an additional four to ensure the Commission “reasonably reflects the City’s diversity.” That’s fair.

Don’t be fooled. If DDD fails, we go right back to politicians drawing their own districts!

Good government organizations like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters created our State Redistricting Commission that ended the manipulation of congressional and state legislative districts for political advantage. They endorse DDD because it is real reform that puts the interests of Long Beach voters first, not politicians. Vote “YES” on DDD.

ROBERT GARCIA
Long Beach Mayor

LAURA L. DOUD
Long Beach City Auditor

CHARLES SONG
The Equity For Cambodians

ALAN LOWENTHAL
U.S. Representative

AL AUSTIN II
City Councilmember

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