California’s prosperity has long masked racial inequities across nearly every measure of well-being. The direct causes of these inequities are complex and the collective results of centuries of systemic racism.
Redistricting is a powerful way we can address and reverse racial inequities. Research shows that elected officials of color represent the interests of their communities at higher rates than other officials. Elected officials who do not reflect their constituents pass policies that are less effective in addressing the needs of marginalized communities. Such lack of representation can also create a disconnect between voters and their representatives, resulting in disengagement and mistrust of government within the community.
Redistricting matters because it is about power—the power of communities to ensure elected officials support their well-being and address their most pressing needs. This report highlights the success of California’s redistricting process and the opportunities it creates to build power in communities of color.