Do you know Sacramento like the back of your hand? Are you politically savvy and involved in your community? Do you want to help shape your neighborhood’s future? If so, you may be the perfect candidate to serve on the City of Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission (SIRC), which is a part of the City’s “Map it Out” efforts to redraw district boundaries.
The City of Sacramento is establishing a 13-person independent redistricting commission tasked with redrawing City Council districts in 2021. The City is seeking qualified community members to be part of the process.
“Sacramento redistricting will follow the release of nationwide census population data,” explained Catherine McMullen, Good Governance Program Specialist with the City of Sacramento’s Office of the City Clerk. “Once the new census numbers come out, we’ll have a better idea of the demographics within Sacramento’s neighborhoods. The point of redistricting is to ensure there’s an equal number of residents in each council district, so everyone has a voice and equal representation within City Council.”
Redistricting is not new to Sacramento, but this is the first time members of the independent redistricting commission will decide and draw the new lines. Last time, an advisory commission prepared recommendations and City Council made the final decision. Voters approved this change in November 2016.
Recruitment and selection of commissioners is the first phase of the City’s independent redistricting process. According to the Sacramento City Charter, the commission must be formed by Dec. 1, 2020 and will begin meeting in 2021. New council lines will be drawn by Oct. 1, 2021.
The SIRC application period opened on Feb. 1 and will close on May 1, 2020. Over the summer, the City Clerk will forward all qualified applications to the Sacramento Ethics Commission. The Sacramento Ethics Commission will then create a subpool of the most qualified 25 to 30 applicants, and then will randomly select eight commissioners (one from each existing district). Those eight commissioners will then select five commissioners and two alternates from the remaining applicants in the subpool to create the finalized commission.
“This will be a non-partisan, multi-person process,” McMullen said. “We are recruiting a pool of qualified applicants who reflect Sacramento’s diversity.”
Commission members will be expected to commit between four to six hours per month and will receive a stipend for each meeting.
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