The state auditor's office has narrowed the list of 4,546 applicants to serve on the Citizens Redistricting Commission to 622 finalists, including eight from Ventura County.
Looking over the applications of the eight county finalists, it appears the goal of attracting bright, diverse, everyday citizens to the commission is being met. The eight from the county include two Democrats, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Green, and three who decline-to-state a party affiliation. There are scientists, teachers, a missionary, an attorney, and a former legislative staff person who is also a demographer.
Anyone who wishes to comment on their applications may do so online at the auditor's special redistricting website, We Draw The Lines.
The auditor's office seeks to narrow the field to 120 finalists -- 40 Democrats, 40 Republicans and 40 from minor parties or decline-to-state -- by August and then begin the interviewing process. By October, it will submit 60 names (20 from each group) to the legislative leaders, who will be able to veto a combined 24. From there, a random process will select eight commissioners, who will together then select the final six members of the 14-member panel.
Here's a snapshot of the eight county finalists:
Gabino Aguirre, Santa Paula, Democrat: He is a former high school principal in the Moorpark Unified School District and a former Santa Paula city councilman. He serves on the Ventura County Commission on Human Concerns and Community Development. Supervisor Kathy Long is among those who wrote letters of recommendation.
Robert Borneman, Ventura, Green Party: An Oxnard high school teacher of American Government, he is a doctoral student in religious studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Richard Coplin, Newbury Park, decline to state: A former Verizon employee, Coplin is retired and has in recent years does extensive missionary work around the globe, including projects in Afghanistan, Cuba, Turkey and China.
Camille Marie Harris, Ventura, decline to state: A former regional manager for a national publishing company, she is an active volunteer who, among other activities, helped to form the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative.
Clifford Lemieux, Oxnard, decline to state: A career Department of
Defense employee, he is a retired mathematician who did software programming for the Naval Air Warfare Center.
Autumn Anne Mesa, Ventura, Libertarian: An attorney who grew up in Oxnard and studied law in the San Francisco Bay Area, she was an intern at the Northern California Innocence Project while attending law school.
Henry Norton, Oak View, Republican: A retired engineer for the Navy, he served two years on the Ventura County Grand Jury and two years on the Ventura County Base Relocation Task Force.
Alan Gary Rosin, Camarillo, Democrat: A demographer who actually has experience working on redistricting challenges, he worked as a legislative staffer in the '60s, '70s and early '80s.