2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission

First Eight Commissioners

On July 2, 2020, the California State Auditor randomly drew the names of the first eight members of the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission from the remaining applicants as provided by the Legislature on June 26, 2020.

Meet the first eight commissioners
Isra Ahmad

Isra is currently a Senior Research & Evaluation Specialist with Santa Clara County's Division of Equity and Social Justice. In this role, she leads the intersectional research efforts across the 7 different offices within the Division: Offices of Women's Policy, Immigrant Relations, Cultural Competency, Labor Standard Enforcement, LGBTQ Affairs, 2020 Census and Gender-Based Violence Prevention. Previously, Isra served as the lead evaluator for the County's Tobacco Control Program. She has worked for over 9 years in the community organizing, research and policy, to address the inequities related to adverse health impacts from tobacco products in a variety of places including, California Youth Advocacy Network, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Tobacco Related Disease Research Program at the University of California Office of the President, The Truth Initiative and her academic alma maters. Isra earned her A.A. from De Anza Community College, her B.S. in Health Science from San José State University, and her Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology/Biostatistics from U.C. Berkeley. In her free time, Isra enjoys hiking and spending time with her family and friends. She is registered to vote as No Party Preference and lives in San José.

Jane Andersen

Ms. Andersen has been a registered Civil and Structural Engineer in California since 1988. Her experience includes structural failure investigation and repair, earthquake damage evaluation and repair, seismic retrofit design and evaluation, new structure and building design, building code writing and editing, peer design review, litigation preparation, and expert testimony. She served on the board of directors of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, chairing the Legislative Committee, and taught FEMA classes on earthquake preparedness. Ms. Andersen has a MS in Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Early in her career, Ms. Andersen was one of very few women in structural engineering, and pushed for diversity and inclusion throughout her professional and volunteer activities. Ms. Andersen is semi-retired and is registered with the Republican Party.

Neal Fornaciari

Mr. Fornaciari worked as a researcher and manager at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore for 27 years prior to retiring in 2017. He has experience leading and coaching people, managing change, managing projects, and leading research and development programs. After retiring, Mr. Fornaciari spent a year as Foreperson of the 2018-2019 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury. Mr. Fornaciari holds a B.S and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, all from the University of California at Berkeley. He is registered with the Republican Party.

J. Ray Kennedy, PhD

Ray Kennedy has worked in the field of international electoral assistance since 1990, leading large and small teams in the design and implementation of electoral assistance projects, observing elections, planning and managing election activities, mentoring election observer groups, training election staff and political party agents, drafting election laws and regulations, and serving on an election commission.

He worked at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)—a non-profit based in Washington, DC—initially managing IFES projects in the Americas and later, leading IFES' work in collecting, organizing, and disseminating information on elections and citizen participation throughout the world, including IFES' role in launching the ACE Project, an online encyclopedia on election administration.

Since receiving his PhD in Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins/SAIS, he has worked primarily as a senior electoral expert in the United Nations System. He has also collaborated with The Carter Center's Democracy Program. In parallel, he has been working for more than a decade to promote awareness and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, advising local groups in several countries as well as the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee in Riverside County, California. Mr. Kennedy is registered with the Democratic Party.

Antonio Le Mons

Antonio Le Mons has more than 25 years of executive leadership experience in both the non-profit and private sector—from start-ups to mature organizations with multi-million dollar budgets and marketing to community and economic development. He developed and administered contracted programs for the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), state of California, and City and County of Los Angeles, in the areas of healthy homes, HIV prevention, transportation, tobacco control, and workforce development. Further, he has two decades of community-based experience and has owned and operated a personnel placement company, a personal concierge service, a psychotherapy and coaching practice, and a digital technology social enterprise, providing on-the-job training and development for transitional age youth.

Antonio is the Chief Operating Office at Skid Row Housing Trust, a permanent supportive housing development and management entity that supports people, who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction, in living safe, stable wellness driven lives. Antonio holds a Master's in community and clinical psychology from Antioch University and a BA in telecommunications with a business minor from Michigan State University. He is a former member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and served for 5-years on UCLA's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of human subjects. He is registered with no party preference.

Sara Sadhwani, PhD

Sara Sadhwani is an assistant professor of politics at Pomona College specializing in American politics, racial and ethnic politics, and public policy. Her research has been published in the peer reviewed journals Political Behavior, California Journal of Politics and Policy, and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Her analysis of Asian American and Latino voting behavior in California elections has been featured in the Washington Post and Vox, and in PS: Political Science and Politics, where she argued that institutional innovations such as the California Citizens Redistricting Commission led to increases in Latino and Asian American representation in the state legislature and U.S. Congress. She is currently a faculty fellow at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute where she co-authored a policy report

Professor Sadhwani earned her doctorate in political science from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to academia, Prof. Sadhwani worked for nearly a decade advocating for the rights of immigrants at social justice organizations such as the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, and the California Immigrant Policy Center. She is registered with the Democratic Party.

Derric Taylor

Currently an Investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Mr. Taylor has served California communities for over twenty-five years. As an Investigator, Mr. Taylor ensures that investigations are completed in a just and equitable manner in a wide variety of categories ranging from assaults to computer crimes. Mr. Taylor received his B.A. in Accounting from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a master's degree in Crime, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine. Mr. Taylor is an active volunteer in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley areas, serving as a mentor and coach among other duties. Mr. Taylor is registered with the Republican Party.

Trena Turner

Pastor Trena Turner is the Executive Director at Faith in the Valley; a multi-cultural, multi-faith community organizing network in the San Joaquin Central Valley. Faith in the Valley builds power among historically excluded communities to act together for systems and policy change for racial, economic and environmental equity. Pastor Trena Turner is a Summa Cum Laude (2006) graduate from American Intercontinental University, B.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior. She is active within her local ministry as an ordained minister and member of the Pastoral staff. She spent 25 years in management within the telecommunications industry, managing call centers and supporting internal sales enablement teams to drive effective business communications. Pastor Turner has been married since 1978, has two adult children and seven amazing grandchildren. She is registered with the Democratic Party.

Demographic information about the first eight commissioners
Name Party Race/Ethnicity Gender Economic Status Region County
Isra Ahmad No Party Preference Other Asian Group Female $75,000 - $124,999 Central Coastal Santa Clara
Jane Andersen Republican Party White Female Over $250,000 Bay Area Alameda
Neal Fornaciari Republican Party White Male $75,000 - $124,999 Southern Central Valley and Mountain San Joaquin
J. Ray Kennedy Democratic Party White Male $75,000 - $124,999 Inland Empire San Bernardino
Antonio Le Mons No Party Preference Black/African American Male $125,000 - $250,000 Southern Coastal Los Angeles
Sara Sadhwani Democratic Party Asian Indian Female Over $250,000 Southern Coastal Los Angeles
Derric Taylor Republican Party Black/African American Male Over $250,000 Southern Coastal Los Angeles
Trena Turner Democratic Party Black/African American Female $125,000 - $250,000 Southern Central Valley and Mountain San Joaquin

Public Meeting

The first eight commissioners met from Tuesday, August 4, 2020 to August 7, 2020, to conduct their work of selecting the final six members of the 2020 Commission. The meeting was exclusively for selecting the final six members of the Commission and related procedural matters.(Agenda) This was the only action that could be taken until the full 14-member 2020 Commission was formed and meets in an open, public meeting.

Consistent with health guidance and Governor's orders, the meeting was conducted remotely (livestreamed) and by teleconference. The public was invited to participate via livestream or by phone only. The commissioners took public comments by phone and email.

The final six members selected by the first eight commissioners are as follows:

  • Linda Akutagawa, No Party Preference
  • Alicia Fernández, Republican
  • Patricia Sinay, Democrat
  • Pedro Toledo, No Party Preference
  • Angela Vázquez, Democrat
  • Russell Yee, Republican

Previous Commissioner Meeting Materials

August 4-7, 2020
Commissioner Proposed Slates
(Public Comments to be taken August 7, 2020 on the call of the Chair)
Public Comments Received
Comments From Organizations/Groups
Comments From Individuals
Meeting Materials
July 21-23, 2020

Agenda

Public Comments
Comments From Organizations/Groups
Comments From Individuals
Training Materials

Commission Job Opportunities

Chief Counsel

Communications Director

Executive Director