It seems like one election cycle ends only for another one to begin. It can be exhausting to keep up with all the candidates, issues, and the deadlines for registering and voting.
But Democracy only works when we are all included in the process. We must participate at every level, not just when voting, but by staying informed on how issues like redistricting strongly affect representation and the power of our vote.
Every 10 years, after every census, California redraws the maps for its congressional and state legislative districts. This is a very political process. The new maps should reflect the population changes over the last 10 years, but too often the process becomes politicized catering to special interests and not our communities. Luckily, in the state of California district lines are drawn through a Redistricting Commission process, which will allow for a public input process from our communities.
Knowing how this process works is just as important as knowing about the local, statewide, primary, and general elections that affect your day to day life.
Redistricting and the Future of Voting
When underrepresented communities monitor and are informed on how the redistricting process can affect their representation, they have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who will voice their needs and interests. It can have long-term effects on the types of candidates who run for office, funding, and other issues. Awareness of how some political movements try to exclude minority groups is the first step to motivating our friends and family to participate as much as we can.
Even More at Stake
California’s shrinking population has cost the state a seat in Congress. Redistricting will determine which member of the House of Representatives from California will lose their seat. You have a chance to weigh in by providing public comment and helping to mobilize others to participate in the political process. You have the power to make sure your concerns and needs are represented by the candidates who would be able to run in future elections.
If You Can Vote, Vote in Every Single Election
National elections capture so much attention, but local and statewide elections affect where you live, and can have a greater impact on your day-to-day life. That’s why it is important to educate yourself on the candidates and the issues to make an informed decision.
Your vote is truly your voice, allowing you to support causes and candidates that advance your interests. Voting is a way to help secure the best possible future for generations to come, including access to education, care, and more opportunities.
Undocumented immigrants, while vital members of our communities, cannot vote either and your vote could help improve their lives. Though you may not get the chance to vote directly on matters of citizenship and immigration, the elected officials you elect can advocate for immigration reform, more humane treatment of undocumented individuals, and stronger protections for immigrants and their families.
Make Sure Your Registration Is Current
You can check your registration status, get election notifications and reminders, or find resources to help you register and look up your voting options on the AltaMed site myvotemyhealth.org/vote. Remember that if you have moved, changed your party affiliation, or have had a name change its important to register again. Registering online is convenient, safe, and secure.
You can also contact your county registrar for more voting information by visiting:
If you live outside of these two counties, you can get more information year round on both local and federal elections anywhere in the country by calling NALEO Educational Fund’s bilingual voter information hotline at (888) VE-Y-VOTA (839-8682).