Friday, May 31, 2013

Letter from Steve Bickerstaff to ICRC Members

Professor Steve Bickerstaff, UT Law School and author of Proposition 3, sent a letter to the members of the ICRC providing some suggestions on . . . “how the commission might begin its organization.”

The important takeaways:
Rotation of the commission chair position: This would foster a “positive relationship [among members of the commission] by reducing internal power struggles and centralization of power.”
Interviewing applicants for the remaining positions on the commission: California officials used interviews in selecting their members. Bickerstaff asks the commission to consider whether interviews are desirable.
Diversity on the commission: Bickerstaff states that “Complying with the requirements of Proposition 3 is absolutely necessary, but the way in which the requirements are met is your task. However, it is apparent that, given the importance of the Voting Rights Act, one or more African-Americans should be added to the panel. . . . In California, the six additional commission members were selected as a slate rather than individually. The Austin commission has this option. Although diversity is important and required for the makeup of the commission, it is important to not lose sight of the overriding objective of having a commission that has the necessary analytical skills and impartiality to produce a districting plan that fully complies with the law and is fair to all Austinites.”

Reading the entire letter is beneficial and recommended. It is here:

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