- Submitter Name: Karl Lawson
- How Submitter Knows Applicant: Dr. Aguirre has been a leader in numerous community-based organizations over the past 30 years, and I have worked with him in the context of my work with non-profit organizations and the farm worker community.
- Submitted on: 06/29/2010
Honorable Members of the Applicant Review Panel:
My name is Karl Lawson, and I served as Co-Chair of the Ventura County Redistricting Commission in the year 2001. Our Commission participated in the re-drawing of the district boundaries for both the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and the Ventura County Community College District. The Commission’s membership reflected a broad cross-section of communities of interest throughout Ventura County. Following presentation by our Commission of two proposed maps, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors selected one of our maps over any of the nine (9) proposed maps that had been developed and proposed by County staff.
Dr. Gabino Aguirre played an important role in the Commission’s work. He not only ensured that the perspective of the heavily Latino, working-class and agricultural interests of the City of Santa Paula and the Santa Clara Valley were effectively represented, but also brought his historical perspective and analytical abilities to the process. Dr. Aguirre is well-respected by all sectors of the community, and his participation in the redistricting process was characterized by his customary thoughtful reasoning. He elicits facts, has the ability to analyze and weigh interests, and thinks before he speaks.
Dr. Aguirre may be one of only a few candidates for the Citizens Redistricting Commission who actually has experience in the process of re-drawing legislative lines. He has hands-on knowledge of what is meant by “communities of interest” and applicable laws and court decisions that govern the redistricting process. It is notable that Dr. Aguirre was part of a public participation process that was ultimately successful, winning the endorsement of both major political parties and 4 of the 5 members of the County Board of Supervisors.
I urge the Applicant Review Panel to strongly consider Dr. Gabino Aguirre for appointment to the Citizens Redistricting Commission. He has no political agenda, and is clearly one of the most qualified individuals. Dr. Aguirre would serve the citizens of California well in this important role.