New political maps are scrambling the fates of many politicians.
Call 2022 the Year of Redistricting.
Nationwide, political maps redrawn based on 2020 census data are being put to the test. On Tuesday, Texas held the year’s first primary election, transformed by these new district lines.
If you aren’t familiar with the redistricting process, here’s a refresher before I dive into how this affects California:
Every 10 years, states use the latest census data to draw the political districts used to elect members of Congress and state legislators. The goal is to adjust the maps based on population shifts, so that the number of people in each district stays the same.
Here in California, a 14-person independent commission in charge of drawing the maps finalized them in December. The changes take effect with the state’s June 2022 primary.
The new boundaries have scrambled the fates of many California politicians and shifted hundreds of thousands of voters into new districts.
If you’re wondering whether your district has changed, this CalMatters tool allows you to easily find out. (I learned that where I live in Los Angeles is in new congressional, State Assembly and State Senate districts.)
Under the census, California lost a House seat for the first time ever, because of slowed population growth. The maps show that the loss in congressional representation was achieved by effectively eliminating a seat in the Los Angeles region.
The new districts give Latinos far more voting power in California than they had before, bringing the share of Latino-majority districts to 30 percent. That could help Democrats defend their slim majority in the U.S. House in the 2022 midterms, but not necessarily.
As for more local politics, the redrawn lines appear to have prompted an unusually high number of state legislators to decide to retire or seek other jobs. Some politicians are now in districts they are less likely to win, or they would have to run against people from their own party to retain their positions.
There are countless ramifications here, and they’ll most likely play out for years. The new maps will be in place, shaping the state’s political landscape, for the next decade.
We answer your most pressing questions about redistricting and gerrymandering.
Can you gerrymander your party to power? Draw your own districts.
Two prominent Latino Democrats are battling over a rare open California congressional seat, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has become a defining moment for some of the world’s biggest tech companies.
California snowpack: After a dry winter, forecasters don’t think the state’s melting snowpack is enough to fill up our reservoirs this year, CNN reports.
Opinion: The U.S. has a violence problem, and it’s up to Democrats to solve it.
New legislation: California could grant fast food workers unprecedented power, The Guardian reports.
Financial aid: Financial aid applications from incoming college students were down 12 percent statewide as of Feb. 23 compared with the same time last year, despite hopes that a return to in-person learning would prompt more students to apply, LAist reports.
Hollywood drug business: A sprawling drug delivery service in Hollywood was uncovered after a man overdosed in his Beverly Hills home, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Psychedelics: The New York Times visited the headquarters of Dr. Bronner’s, the liquid soap company, near San Diego. The company has become a big financial backer of efforts to loosen government restrictions on illegal drugs.
Fresno State: The California State University trustees are independently investigating how Fresno State handled sexual assault cases, The Fresno Bee reports.
Mask mandates: Hundreds of Rocklin Unified School District educators took leave on Monday to protest their district’s defiance of state-imposed mask mandates, The Sacramento Bee reports.
Oakland mayor: Treva Reid, an East Oakland Council member, said Tuesday that she was running for mayor, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Roasted beets with yogurt and pistachios.
Today’s tip comes from Louis Lebherz, who lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Louis recommends Point Lobos near Monterey:
“I have lived up and down California for many years. Having spent my working years as an opera singer, I have had extensive tours throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. I would not live anywhere but California, even with its flaws.
My favorite spot can be found north of Big Sur and south of Carmel. It’s Point Lobos. There one be can be somewhat alone as one traipses through this national reserve on its many well maintained trails. The wildflowers are spectacular in the spring time. The crashing surf on the north side; the calm, otter filled south side; and the many seals and sea lions with their constant barking on the most western point, are all calling me back again and again.”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
Can there be an upside to wildfires that ravaged some California vineyards?
A spirits company in Alameda may have found one.
The New York Times wrote about vodka distilled from fire-damaged Napa Valley grapes.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: ___ Tracks (ice cream flavor) (5 letters).
Geordon Wollner and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
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