Jewish Journal writer talks Calif. redistricting on KCRW

Last night, I spoke with KCRW’s Warren Olney on “Which Way, L.A.?” about California’s citizen-led redistricting process.

The program included observations from journalists and consultants who have been watching the work of the Golden State’s new commission, which unveiled its final draft maps of Congressional, State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization lines on Friday, July 29.

I talked to Olney about the developing competition between two long-time Jewish, Democratic Congressmen, Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman.

Though Friday’s maps did include some changes to district boundaries in earlier versions, the Congressional districts in the San Fernando Valley remained functionally unchanged.

As outlined in a recent Jewish Journal cover story, the two incumbents have both laid claim to the West San Fernando Valley District in which they live, now called the 30th district. And though the 2012 election is more than a year away, the battle for that district has already effectively begun.

Rep. Henry Waxman, a long-time friend of Berman’s, has said that he would, if push came to shove, support the ranking Democrat. Berman’s office released a statement on Friday, after the lines were made public, saying that he intended to run in the 30th district.

Sherman, meanwhile, told me yesterday that no one aside from Waxman and Berman is telling him not to run in the 30th district, and said he is preparing to publicize a list within the next week of elected and community officials—including some “extremely prominent Democrats—who will support his reelection bid there.

Sherman also said he had received endorsements from Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Koretz, Dennis Zine and Mitchell Englander.

Redistricting consultant Paul Mitchell and Rosalind Gold of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) also appeared on Olney’s show last night. It’s worth a listen, and can be found here.