By Jason Abbott, Staff Writer
Friday, February 18, 2011 – 05:00 p.m.

The work of California’s Citizen redistricting Commission just cleared a major hurdle as the United States Department Of Justice issued a “pre-clearance” allowing the body to proceed with its work. The commission is entrusted with the task of re-drawing Calfiornia’s state legislative and federal Congressional districts this year, for use in the next ten years.

Locally, elected county supervisors in Riverside County and San Bernardino County are still responsible for creating county supervisorial maps for the next decade, as the redistricting commission is tasked with only establishing district boundaries for state assembly, state senate and U.S. Congress.

The green light given to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission is seen as a major step forward as The federal Voting Rights Act requires Department of Justice pre-clearance for certain changes to election laws or processes, including redistricting, in designated areas. Four California counties are subject to pre-clearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. None of the four affected counties are in Southern California.

Significant changes to existing boundaries are expected as nearly every Inland Empire state and federal constituency has experienced tremendous population growth since 2001, the last year for redistricting. Some observers have speculated that the Inland Empire region could add at least one state assembly seat, and possibly even see the additions of another state senate as well as an extra Congressional district to reflect the massive increase in population experienced by Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Already area candidates are expecting newly-configured legislative seats in which to campaign. In the 62nd AD. In the SD 31,

InlandPolitics will continue to monitor the work of the commission and respond accordingly how their actions affect the Inland Empire region.