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Redistricting: Long Term Impacts Few

Mayor Doug Tessitor responds to the approved legislative redistricting maps.

"What are your thoughts about Glendora's place in the new redistricting maps?"

Mark Twain once said, “Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get!”  Voters wanted to change the political “climate” by having a citizen’s commission set district boundaries; now that they have done so, many are afraid they won’t like the political “weather” that is going to result. My first reaction was exactly that.

Upon reflection, I think the changes will not have much practical impact over time.  California will still be a blue state with Democrat majorities.  Republicans and Independents will still struggle to have input in the direction of the state.  That’s the “climate” of California.

The “weather” will be impacted by taking the legislature out of the district boundaries setting business which will make for less gerrymandering.  It will not eliminate it, because some of the rules imposed on the commission require it.

The Voting Rights Act requires that ethnicity be a part of the setting of boundaries.  That has created some unusual district configurations and has introduced race into the equation.  That appears to be the basis of most of the threats of legal challenges to the new system.  Latinos, Blacks, and Asians all want to have representation that reflects their proportional position in society.  The Republicans are afraid they may lose seats in the State Legislature as a result.

I think all the angst about these changes is overblown.  Ethnic groups are not necessarily monolithic - of one mind – politically.  I hope that when the dust settles, good Republican and Independent candidates, regardless of ethnicity, will choose to run.

If their ideas and values are effectively communicated, and resonate with the voters, they will win election.  It will be a positive change in the “weather” if competing ideas and choices are introduced in our elections. 

Now to the specifics, and the immediate impact on Glendora:

I hate the fact that David Dreier will, likely, no longer represent Glendora in Congress.  He has done an excellent job representing the interests of our city and our region.  His seniority and position as Chairman of the Rules Committee has magnified our voice in Washington.  Assuming he continues in Congress he will still be supportive of our local issues.  He deserves to be reelected in a new district.

State Senator Bob Huff and Freshman Assembly Member Tim Donnelly will no longer represent Glendora.  That is also a shame, because both are good people and they have the economic well being of the state and local interests as top priorities.  Bob Huff has a longer track record and has been an effective and supportive voice for Glendora and the San Gabriel Valley.  If reelected in their new districts they will continue to be supportive of our interests, I believe.

One unfortunate result of the redistricting is the fact that – with the 210 Freeway as the dividing line.  This will just provide more ammunition for the South vs. North contingent.

The good news is that we will have two congressional representatives with skin in the game for Glendora.  What is helpful to one area of Glendora is beneficial to the whole city.  Congressional Reps will see Glendora only, not North Glendora or South Glendora.

The State Senate and State Assembly districts do not divide Glendora which is good.  They do include disparate communities that may have little in common with Glendora, which could be cause for concern.

The solution to the concerns is to make sure that whoever ends up as  our elected representative is aware of our needs and interests.  An active, involved electorate goes a long way to ensure that our elected officials remain mindful of who they represent.

For a conservative Republican like me, the political “climate” in California is not ideal.  The potential changes in the political “weather," however, make life interesting and should give us all new incentives to engage in the process.

Climate Change, in this context, can indeed be man-made!

*The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of Doug Tessitor alone.  They are not to be construed to represent official positions of the city or the opinions of any other council member.

Glendora Mayor Doug Tessitor fields your community questions and answers them in a weekly column. In Glendora Patch’s Mayor’s Roundtable, you are invited in an ongoing dialogue about issues and concerns you have regarding your city. Share your ideas and voice your opinion.

Have a question you'd like Mayor Tessitor to answer? E-mail hazel.lodevicotoo@patch.com

Hazel Lodevico-To'o August 21, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Hi Zach, Column submissions do not go unchecked and we do discern the difference between "opinion" which this column is and we clearly identify as such, and "news articles," which Patch provides. Patch provides an opportunity for all of our "Local Voices" to share their opinion and generate dialogue. That said, everyone has their own opinion on what we find are valid opinions.
Doug Tessitor August 21, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Mr. Stoloff, Thanks for your comment. My articles are clearly identified as opinion, at my request. When I volunteered to write these articles, I wanted to be able to express my views - but I did not want to have anyone think that I was speaking offically for the City of Glendora or my colleagues on the City Council. I am sure that there are many that will have a differing opinion and they, of course are free to provide it here. That is the beauty of "Patch" and it's a distinct advantage over traditional print media. Thank you again for your opinion!
Wowzer August 22, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Mr. Tessitor not only are you a 4 time incumbent for City Council that has outspent everyone else 14-1 and as a registered Republican using GOOD governance and fiscal responsibility I dont know how you could back Mr. Drier. Your own views on Athens Trash has been similar and the Red Herring of "If it ain't broke don't fix it" Is against the cities interest and against the GOP mantra, What Would Reagan Do. He has dropped the ball on the immigration front numerous times, letting in millions of illegal aliens financially crippled this state. , as a homosexual he has many conflicting views on DOMA and DADT. He was kicked off the the Rules Committee because he had done nothing in the 110th congress to help Boner and friends Defeat the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda. He let the Democrats push him around and unlike his college to the East Mr. Lewis of Redlands that has brought over 50 Million dollars to the region and make the Inland Empire with University of Redlands, Loma Linda University and Cal State San Bernardino a hot bed of learning in an otherwise economically disadvantage area. Mr. Tessitor I'll end on your blind allegiance to a man who never represented conservative values and never facing a challenger that wasn't backed by Radio Hosts, hopefully those same mediums can be called upon when you decide to run again, or move to Florida and hangout with your grandkids and leave the City Council for real fiscal activists and someone with a good judge of character.

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