1. How do I access and complete my supplemental application?
The supplemental application can be accessed and should be submitted online at our Web site. Go to www.localhost/crccagov and click on the clipboard. Log in to your supplemental application to complete it.
2. Are the questions and answers to questions posed on your Webinars available to the applicants?
Yes. You can view all the State Auditor’s Webinars at www.localhost/crccagov. Additionally, the State Auditor has provided an online workshop at http://vimeo.com/10209189 that is also available to the applicants.
3. I submitted my supplemental application prior to one of your Webinars, can I go back and change my responses in my application?
Yes. Applicants can return to their supplemental application and make revisions until the application deadline. However, the applicant should remember to save the application and resubmit the application or it will not be considered submitted.
4. What information about the applicant will be available on the Web site?
We will be posting the application itself, letters of recommendation, related public comments (if any), and your response (if any) to public comments made. We will redact the applicants’ personal information (address, phone number, email address); the addresses, phone numbers, occupations, and employers of family members; and the personal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of persons providing letters of recommendation. The State Auditor does not intend to provide that information to the public.
5. How long will my application and related information be available on the Web site?
The applications and related information will be available on the Web site only while an applicant is still being considered for selection. As applicants fall out of the process, the State Auditor’s office will remove their applications and related materials from the Web site.
Weighting of Application Components
6. Will the Applicant Review Panel (ARP) use a point system or other method to weigh different components of the application when determining which applicants will be interviewed? If so, how will that system work?
There is no general scoring system. The individual ARP members will exercise their discretion, consistent with the regulations, in reviewing the applications.
7. If a weighting system is used, what weight will the essays in the application be given in comparison to other application components (such as the letters of recommendation or comments from the public)? Within the essays, how much weight is being given to the three essays that specifically ask about the Commissioner qualifications (ability to be impartial, appreciation for diversity, relevant analytic skills), compared to the other essays (interest serving on the commission, activities, other relevant information)?
There is no general scoring system. However, the regulations require applicants to demonstrate the extent to which they possess three key qualifications as stated in the Voters FIRST Act—the ability to be impartial, an appreciation for California’s diverse demographics and geography, and relevant analytical skills. The essay questions on the supplemental application provide applicants with the most effective opportunity to demonstrate these skills.
Ability to Be Impartial
8. To what extent will an applicant’s involvement in social causes or political activities be considered evidence that the applicant lacks the ability to be impartial?
All the information provided in the application, letters of recommendation, and public comments (if any) will be used by the ARP members in assessing whether the applicant meets the criteria set out in the regulations.
9. Are applicants required to address their involvement in social causes or political activities in their “ability to be impartial” essays—in other words, should they affirmatively explain why such involvement would not improperly influence their decisions as a redistricting commissioner?
Yes. Applicants should demonstrate their ability to set aside personal preferences in order to make redistricting decisions that are in the best interest of the State.
10. To what extent will a letter of recommendation from an organization or individual active in social causes or political activities be considered evidence that the applicant lacks the ability to be impartial?
One of the key qualifications that commissioners should possess that is identified in the Voters FIRST Act is the ability to be impartial. Thus, the applicant should demonstrate an ability to set aside personal preferences in order to make redistricting decisions that are in the best interest of the State.
11. Do I have to list all my family members?
All family members having one of the relationships listed on the application must be reported.
12. Are applicants required to provide information for family members listed on the application if the family members reside outside of California or the United States?
Family members having one of the relationships listed on the application must be reported regardless of where they reside.
13. What if the applicant does not have specific information about a family member (such as occupation or employer)? To what extent must the applicant do research or make other efforts to obtain such information?
The applicant should provide information for each family member to the best of his or her ability. You are required to make a reasonable effort to obtain and report the required in formation, but you are not expected to report information not reasonably available.
14. Are union dues considered financial contributions that need to be reported?
Union dues are NOT considered financial contributions that need to be reported.
15. Do applicants need to report financial contributions to religious organizations? If so, if each individual contribution does not exceed $250, but the contributions in aggregate over the two-year period exceed $250, do the contributions need to be reported? (For example, money donated during a weekly collection at a religious service.)
Financial contributions to religious organizations should be reported if the aggregate amount in one year exceeds $250.
Letters of Recommendation
16. Can I have more than three letters of recommendation?
Only three letters will be accepted. We will upload the first three letters we receive.
17. Who are the best persons to provide letters of recommendation?
The best persons to provide letters of recommendation are those individuals that know the applicant well and can speak knowledgeably about his/her qualifications.
18. What identifying information about the individual or organization that sends the letter of recommendation will be made public on the Internet? For example, will addresses or company names included on letterhead be made public?
Personal addresses and phone numbers will be redacted from a letter of recommendation. However, business addresses are public information and will not be redacted.
19. Where is my unique ID number needed for the letters of recommendation?
This is located in your supplemental application. Log in to your application and go to the Letters of Recommendation section (Part 4) of the application.
20. How can I verify that my letters of recommendation have been received?
You will receive an e-mail when we upload each letter into our system. After a letter is uploaded, you may log in to your application and find a note that the letter has been received and uploaded. You may also call us or email us if you have not received confirmation that your letters have been received. However, we will likely have a high volume of emails and phone calls as the April 19, 2010 5 p.m. deadline draws near. So if you have not received a confirmation, we recommend resubmitting the recommendation.
21. Will you accept letters of recommendation that are postmarked by April 19th?
The State Auditor will accept letters of recommendation by mail that are postmarked April 19th or a prior date.
22. Do sitting city council members have a conflict of interest? Will they have to step down from their local position if they are selected as a commissioner?
Serving as a city council member does not in and of itself constitute a conflict of interest, so a city council member may apply to be a commissioner. However, it is likely that legally a person cannot serve as both a city council member and as a member of the commission.
23. If I am selected as one of the commissioners, are there any restrictions on what I can do after the maps are approved?
According to the Voters FIRST Act, a person appointed to the commission shall be ineligible, for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment, to hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in this state. A person appointed to the commission also shall be ineligible, for a period of five years beginning from the date of appointment, to hold appointive federal, state, or local public office; to serve as paid staff for the Legislature or any individual legislator; or to register as a federal, state, or local lobbyist in this state.
24. If I am selected as a commissioner, how much time will my position require?
The majority of the work of the Commission will be performed from January 1, 2011 through September 15, 2011—the date the maps must be approved. While the work of the commissioner may consume 10 to 40 hours a week (less time initially and more time towards the end), much of this time will probably not be during a typical work day (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). A significant amount of work will probably have to be performed on the weekends and in the evenings when more people can participate in public meetings—the Commission will decide how and when they work.
The Commission will operate as its own entity and will be able to hire staff to assist them in their duties. Further, the Commission itself will be able to set their schedule—they will determine where they will meet to conduct business; how often they will meet; where they will hold public meetings to solicit public input, and where those meetings will occur; how much staff to hire and for what purposes; where they can conduct their work or if they will use teleconference capabilities; and will make other determinations as deemed necessary.
Additionally, the Voters FIRST Act clearly states that an employer cannot retaliate against a commissioner—an employer cannot discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, coerce, or retaliate against an employee because of Commission meetings. The bulk of the Commission’s work will be done in public meetings as Commission staff will be working in between meetings to prepare analyses and other information for the Commission.