Two years after voters approved creating an independent commission to handle the thorny task of drawing California’s political boundaries, the panel got its first eight members Thursday – and they’ll pick the remaining six.
The eight members – five men and three women – were selected at random from a spinning , lottery-style cage by State Auditor Elaine Howle, who under Proposition 11 of 2008 was charged with setting up the panel. The eight were selected what was originally a pool of 30,000 applicants.
The eight chosen Thursday, by law, included three Republicans, three Democrats and two who were either decline-to-state or who belong to another party.
The eight, in turn, will pick six additional members to bring the Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission to full strength by the end of the year.
The applicant pool of 30,000 ultimately was winnowed to 60 identified as the most qualified. That group, in turn, was cut to 36 after legislative leaders struck the names of 24 applicants.
The final round of eight was chosen from the remaining 36 hopefuls.
Howle’s office said the applicants were selected based on “based on criteria set forth by the Voters FIRST Act” approved by voters in November 2008, including relevant analytical skills, the ability to be impartial; and a demonstrated appreciation for California’s diverse demographics and geography.”