Citizens for Fair Representation (CFR) will file a lawsuit against the State of California for lack of representation and dilution of vote. CFR represents citizens from 21 rural counties in the northern area of the State. A long list of plaintiffs have joined CFR in the lawsuit, representing a diversity of cultures, ages, races and political philosophy.
Over the last 3 years, most of these plaintiffs have petitioned the California State Legislature and Secretary of State seeking equal/fair representation, tens of thousands of letters, phone calls and emails have gone out to their elected representatives, requesting they introduce a Bill or Resolution that would create a more representative balance in both legislative chambers. The plaintiffs have personally visited individual legislative offices, but plaintiffs claim that all requests have gone ignored, leaving them no choice now but to enter the legal process.
Currently, California's population at just under 40 million is represented by 40 State Senators and 80 Assembly members. This is the same number of elected representatives that in 1862 represented 416,640 people.
Prior to 1964, just about every County in California was represented by one State Senator. Today, a California State Senator represents an average of 1 million people, with each assembly member representing 500,000. Currently, 11 northern rural counties have one Senator whose vote is diluted by 15 senators representing the single County of Los Angeles.
California's imbalance of representation ranks the worst on the list of 50 States. The small state of New Hampshire has 400 in their State House of Representatives, with one representative for less than 4,000 people. There are 24 State Senators or one for every 55,000 citizens. New Hampshire's ratio of balance closely models the representation that CFR is seeking to accomplish for California. If CFR is successful, this would be history in the making, not only for their 21 counties, but all of California's 58 counties and those in other states.
Claimants state, “California's refusal to increase its levels of representation to reflect its exponential population growth is both arbitrary and unconstitutional. “
The case, Citizens for Fair Representation vs Secretary of State Alex Padilla, will be filed on May 8th, in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division. Citizens for Fair Representation is a 501(C)(4), a nonprofit corporation.
# # #
Attention News Editors: For interviews or more information, please call Mark Baird, 530-227-6729, Terry Rapoza, 530-246-9706.
Terry Gherardi, CFR Public Information Officer - 530-677-4294