2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission).

What is the Commission?

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts, so that the districts correctly reflect the state’s population. The 2020 Commission will be selected from a group of California citizens and will be charged with drawing all district lines.

Why do we have a Commission?

California voters authorized the creation of the Commission when they passed the VOTERS FIRST Act (Act) in 2008. It authorized the Commission to draw the new district lines. In 2010, the Voters FIRST Act for Congress added the responsibility of drawing Congressional districts to the Commission.

Who can serve on the Commission?

The Act requires the State Auditor to initiate and implement an application process for selecting the 14 members of the Commission. You can apply for the Commission:

  • Have been a registered voter since July 1, 2015;
  • Have been registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or registered with the same political party since approximately July 1, 2015; and
  • Voted in at least two of the last three statewide elections.

However, an applicant is ineligible to serve on the Commission if the applicant has a conflict of interest as defined by the Act within the 10 years prior to submitting an application.

How many Commission members will there be?

The Commission will have 14 members: five members who are Democrats, five members who are Republicans and four members who are either registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party.

How do I apply to become a member of the Commission?

You may submit an online application to the California State Auditor's Office (office) during the initial application period from June 10, 2019, to August 19, 2019, by 5:00 p.m. PST.

The application may be saved while it is being filled out, and therefore completed during multiple sessions on a computer. Applicants who meet all of the qualifications for serving on the Commission, and do not have a conflict of interest, will be invited to submit a supplemental application containing additional information about their qualifications. They will answer essay questions providing insight into their analytical skills and experience, awareness of California's diversity, and their reasons for wanting to serve on the Commission.

Any applicant who requires a paper application as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 may request one from the office.

How will the members of the Commission be selected after the application period closes?

The initial and supplemental applications will be forwarded to an Applicant Review Panel (panel) consisting of three independent auditors in mid-October 2019 (deadline extended). Once the panel has reviewed all the applications, the panel will select up to 120 of the “most qualified applicants,” who the panel will then personally interview in Sacramento, California. The 120 applicants will be divided into three sub-pools according to party affiliation. One sub-pool will consist of 40 applicants who are Democrats, a second sub-pool will consist of 40 applicants who are Republicans, and a third sub-pool will consist of 40 applicants who are either registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The office will reimburse applicants for their reasonable and necessary travel expenses to participate in an interview.

From the 120 applicants who are interviewed, the panel will identify 60 of the most qualified applicants divided into three sub-pools according to party affiliation. One sub-pool will consist of 20 applicants who are Democrats, a second sub-pool will consist of 20 applicants who are Republicans, and a third sub-pool will consist of 20 applicants who are either registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party.

No later than May 15, 2020, the panel will present the names of the applicants who remain in the three sub-pools to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly for consideration by the President pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Minority Floor Leader of the Assembly. Each of these legislative leaders may remove up to two applicants from each of the sub-pools for a total of up to 24 struck applicants. The names of the applicants not removed from the sub-pools are then submitted to the State Auditor no later than June 30, 2020.

The State Auditor must then, by July 5, 2020, randomly draw from the names remaining in the three sub-pools, the names of three applicants who are Democrats, three applicants who are Republicans and two applicants who are either registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. These eight applicants shall become the first eight members of the Commission.

The first eight members of the Commission will then select the final six members of the Commission by selecting two commissioners from each of the three sub-pools that the State Auditor used when drawing the names of the first eight commissioners. The last six commissioners must be appointed by August 15, 2020.

What criteria must Commission members use when drawing district maps?

The criteria the Commission must follow when drawing district maps.

  • Must achieve population equality as nearly as is practicable;
  • Must comply with the Voting Rights Act;
  • Must be geographically contiguous, so that all parts of the district are connected to each other;
  • Must respect the geographic boundaries of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities of interest, and minimize their division;
  • Must be geographically compact, such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant populations;
  • For each Senate District, must be comprised of two complete and adjacent Assembly Districts; and for each Board of Equalization district, must be composed of 10 whole, complete and adjacent State Senate Districts.

In addition, the place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate may not be considered in the creation of a map, and districts may not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.

How will the new district boundaries get approved?

The Commission is required to define the geographic boundaries for the Congressional Districts, State Senate districts, State Assembly districts, and State Board of Equalization districts so that they contain reasonably equal populations. The Commission will determine the precise process. The 2010 Commission engaged in meetings throughout the State to identify communities of interest, many of the meetings were held during the evenings and on weekends.

Once the Commission has agreed on the geographic boundaries of the districts, the districts will be displayed on four maps: one map displaying the revised Congressional districts, a second map displaying the revised State Senate districts, a third map displaying the revised State Assembly districts, and a fourth map displaying the revised State Board of Equalization districts. The Commission will then vote to approve the four maps.

To be approved, each map must receive the affirmative vote of at least three Commission members who are Democrats, three Commission members who are Republicans and three Commission members who are either registered without a, or "independent" of any, political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. Once the Commission has approved the final maps, the maps are certified to the Secretary of State with a report explaining the basis on which the Commission made its decisions.

How much time will Commission members spend performing their duties?

While there is no minimum or maximum amount of time that members must spend performing Commission-related work, typically such work consumes 10 to 40 hours a week, with less time committed initially and more time committed as the deadline to finalize maps approaches. Much of the work will likely not be performed during a typical work day (i.e. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). A significant amount of work will likely be performed on the weekends and in the evenings when more people can participate in public meetings.

The Commission will operate as its own entity and will be able to hire staff to assist in its duties. Further, the Commission itself will set its own schedule—it will determine where to meet to conduct business; how often it will meet; when and where to hold public meetings to solicit public input; how much staff to hire and for what purposes; and other determinations as necessary.

How much time will Commission members spend in public hearings?

The Commission is subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, which requires that any meeting consisting of nine or more members of the Commission (and five of the first eight members of the Commission prior to the entire Commission being formed) to decide issues or even to receive information must be conducted in public. With that in mind, the number of public hearings the Commission will hold is entirely at the discretion of the Commission. Similarly, whether the hearings will be attended by all Commission members, or just a subset of members, will be up to the Commission to decide.

Will the Commission members be paid?

The Act specifies that members of the Commission will be compensated at the rate of $300 (adjusted by the Consumer Price Index) for each day a Commissioner is engaged in Commission business. The Act also allows for reimbursement for personal expenses incurred in connection with the duties required of commissioners.

Are the Commission members entitled to retirement and health benefits?

Because membership on the Commission is not a state civil service position, the only compensation provided for serving as a member of the Commission is the compensation provided (stipend) for each day the member is engaged in Commission business.

How long will Commission members serve and what are their duties after the maps are drawn?

The Commission members will serve for 10 years beginning with the moment the first member is randomly selected (no later than July 5, 2020), and ending with the random selection of the first member of the succeeding Commission (no later than August 15, 2030). However, much of the work that the commissioners will perform will be completed by the time they approve the maps of the new districts, which is required by August 15, 2021. After that, in the event the new district maps are challenged in court, the Commission, through its legal counsel, would be responsible for defending against the lawsuit. Thus, the majority of the commissioners responsibilities will be completed within one year.

Can an applicant keep their current job and still serve on the Commission?

A person’s ability to perform the duties of other employment while serving on the Commission will depend on the nature of the employment. An applicant should assume that their time will have to be devoted primarily to the work of the Commission during the 12 months that the Commission members are working toward the approval of the final maps. However, most of the 2010 commissioners did continue to keep their jobs while serving because most public meetings were held in the evenings and on weekends where Commission members completed their work. Further, the new Commission will determine how they will conduct their work. The commissioners primary redistricting duties take place between August 15, 2020, and end no later than August 15, 2021.

Can an employer fire Commission members for Commission-related work?

To encourage service on the Commission, the Act provides that no employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, or retaliate against any employee for attending a Commission meeting. After the final maps are approved, the duties of the Commission should be minimal and flexible enough to permit a normal employment schedule.

Are there any restrictions placed on Commission members?
Can Commission members serve in an elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level?

Commission members cannot, for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment, hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in California. Elective public office at the federal level means an office of Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States that may be filled by an election in California.

Elective public office at the state level means the Office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, member of the Legislature, member elected to the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System, member elected to the Teachers' Retirement Board, and member of the State Board of Equalization.

Elective public office at the county or city level in this state means a public office at the county or city level in California that may be filled by an election. Public office at the county level means an office of county government or an office of a special district, school district, joint powers authority, or other political subdivision of the state whose boundaries coincide with the boundaries of a county or whose boundaries include at least one entire county. A public office at the county level does not mean a position within a non-profit organization, quasi-governmental entity, or neighborhood council.

Finally, public office at the city level means an office of city government or an office of a special district, school district, joint powers authority, or other political subdivision of the state whose boundaries coincide with the boundaries of a city or whose boundaries include at least one entire city but do not coincide with the boundaries of a county or include an entire county. A public office at the city level does not mean a position within a non-profit organization, quasi-governmental entity, or neighborhood council.

Persons appointed to the Commission may no longer serve in an elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in California for a period of 10 years.

Can a Commission member serve in a position as an appointed federal, state, or local public official?

Commission members cannot, for a period of five years from the date of appointment, hold an appointed federal, state, or local public office. Appointed federal or state public office means a federal or state office is one that is made by the Governor, any member or members of the Legislature, any member or members of the State Board of Equalization, or any Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States elected from California.

An appointed local public office is a public office at the county or city level in California that is filled by appointment for either a fixed term or at the pleasure of the appointing authority, and that allows the officeholder to make decisions affecting persons throughout the political subdivision or to receive compensation in an amount greater than $5,000 per year, or receive per diem payments at a rate greater than $100 per day.

Can a Commission member serve in an elective position for a regional or special district?

Public office at the city or county level includes any office of a special district, school district, joint powers authority, or other political subdivision of the state whose boundaries coincide with the boundaries of a city or county, respectively, and at the city level, does not coincide with the boundaries of a county or include an entire county. Thus, the Commission members cannot serve in such position for a period of 10 years. However, public office at the city or county level does not mean a position within a non-profit organization, quasi-governmental entity, or neighborhood council.

Can Commission members serve as staff for, or as a paid consultant to, the Board of Equalization, Congress, the Legislature, or an individual legislator?

No. A Commission member cannot , for a period of five years from the date of appointment, serve as paid staff for, or as a paid consultant to, the Board of Equalization, Congress, the Legislature, or any individual legislator.

Can Commission members be registered as a federal, state, or local lobbyist?

No. Commission members cannot, for a period of five years from the date of appointment, be registered as a federal, state or local lobbyist in California. Individuals appointed to the Commission can no longer be registered in such position for a period of five years.

Why are there additional eligibility requirements and what are they?

The authors of the Act wanted to keep the politics out of drawing the lines and set minimum eligibility requirements a Commission member must meet establishing that a Commission member may not have certain conflict of interests.

This graphic provides detailed information on who's eligible to apply.

What are the minimum eligibility requirements?

To be eligible to serve on the Commission applicants must:

  • Be a registered voter since approximately July 1, 2015;
  • Have been continuously registered in California with the same political party, or with no political party, for the five years immediately prior to being appointed to the Commission; and
  • Have voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections.

Additionally, a Commission member must have been a registered voter, and have been registered with the same political party (or registered without stating a political party preference, or No Party Preference), since July 1, 2015.

What does it mean to be lawfully registered to vote in California?

A person is entitled to register to vote if he or she is a United States citizen, a resident of California, not imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election. Being registered allows an individual to vote in California.

Are individuals who have been convicted of a felony prohibited from applying to be a Commission member?

To apply for the Commission, one must be a registered voter. One of the qualifications of a registered voter is the individual is not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony. Simply having been convicted of a felony does not, by itself, bar an individual from applying if the individual otherwise satisfies the registration and voting requirements and was neither in prison nor on parole for a felony when satisfying those registration and voting requirements.

If an applicant does not remember where they registered to vote, how can they find the information?

The California Secretary of State's website, https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/, allows you to check whether you are registered to vote, where you are registered to vote, and your political party preference. You may also check with your local county registrar.

What is the date of appointment for purposes of the requirement that an applicant must have not changed party affiliation for five or more years before the date of appointment?

The date of appointment for purposes of the five year requirement is July 1, 2020. To meet this requirement, applicants must be continuously registered in California with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party, and have not changed political party affiliation, since July 1, 2015.

Does changing party affiliation from a political party to "No Party Preference" or vice versa constitute a change in political party affiliation?

Yes. Changing one's party affiliation from "No Party Preference" to another party designation, or vice versa, constitutes a change in party affiliation.

Why does changing party affiliation within the last five years disqualify applicants from serving on the Commission?

The requirement that an applicant must be a voter who has not changed political party affiliation for five or more years is stated in the California Constitution. This requirement was included to ensure that if an applicant is randomly selected to serve on the Commission as a Democrat, Republican, or neither of the two, that the applicant's registration history reflects a commitment to being a Democrat, Republican, or neither of the two.

When were the last three statewide general elections?

The last three statewide general elections were held on November 6, 2018, November 8, 2016, and November 4, 2014.

What are the conflicts of interest that will disqualify an applicant from being on the Commission?

An individual may not serve on the Commission if, during the 10 years immediately preceding the date of the individual's application1, the applicant or a member of the applicant's immediate family2 with whom the applicant has a bona fide, or special, relationship has:

  • Been appointed to, elected to, or has been a candidate for federal or state office;
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party;
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective federal or state office;
  • Served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee;
  • Been a registered federal, state, or local lobbyist;
  • Served as paid congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff; or
  • Contributed $2,500 or more to any congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office in any year.

Additionally, an applicant cannot serve if the applicant:

  • Is serving as a staff or consultant to;
  • Is under a contract with; or
  • Has an immediate, bona fide family relationship3 with, the Governor, a member of the Legislature, a California member of Congress, or a member of the State Board of Equalization
What is "date of application" for purposes of assessing a conflict of interest?

The date of application for assessing a conflict of interest is the date an applicant submits his or her initial application. Since the time period to submit an initial application is from June 10 to August 19, 2019, by 5:00 p.m. PST, you cannot have had a conflict of interest between June 10, 2009 and August 19, 2009, depending on when you submit your application.

Who is considered to be a member of an applicant's "immediate family"?

The conflict of interest rules apply to both the applicant and members of the applicant's immediate family with whom the applicant has a bona fide3, or special relationship. An "immediate family relationship" is one established through blood or legal relation, with a parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, child, sibling, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, or son- or daughter-in-law, that has not been terminated by death or dissolution. Step-parents, step-children, and step-siblings count as parents, children, and siblings.

What is a bona fide, or special, relationship with an immediate family member?

An immediate family relationship is considered bona fide, or special, if it involves any of the following conditions within the preceding 12 months:

  • Cohabitation for a period or periods cumulating 30 days or more;
  • Shared ownership of any real or personal property having a cumulative value of $1,000 or more, or
  • Either party to the relationship provides a financial benefit to the other having a cumulative value of $1,000 or more. A "financial benefit" includes anything of value, whether tangible or intangible, including any payment, gift, discount, or rendering of services.
Does "immediate family" include a step-child's biological parent?

No. A step-child's biological parent is not considered "immediate family" because he or she is not an applicant's spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, child, or sibling.

Does "immediate family" include a spouse's siblings or their spouses?

"In-law" is defined as the father, mother, or sibling of a person's spouse or registered domestic partner, or the spouse or registered domestic partner of a person's child. Under this definition, a spouse's sibling is considered an "in-law," and is therefore "immediate family." However, a spouse's sibling's spouse is not an "in-law," and therefore is not "immediate family."

If an applicant has been married for less than 10 years, must they report possible conflicts of interest by their in-laws during the last 10 years?

Yes. If you currently have a bona fide relationship with your in-laws, their activities during the past 10 years, regardless of how long you have known them, can make you ineligible to serve as a member of the Commission.

What is "federal office" and "state office"?

"Federal office" means the office of a Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States elected from California and "state office" means every office, agency, department, division, bureau, board, and commission within the government of the State of California.

Does "state office" include membership on a board of trustees for a community college district?

Membership on a board of trustees for a community college district is a local office. Accordingly, an applicant would not be disqualified as a result of having been elected as a trustee of a California community college during the past 10 years.

However, it is important to remember that once appointed, a Commission member cannot, for a period of 10 years, hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in California, and cannot, for a period of five years, hold appointive federal, state, or local public office, to serve as paid staff for, or as a paid consultant to, the Board of Equalization, Congress, the Legislature, or any individual legislator, or to register as a federal, state or local lobbyist in this State. Accordingly, if appointed, a member of a board of trustees for a community college district will be ineligible to hold, and must resign from, the community college position.

Does "federal office" and "state office" include a non-governmental 501(c) non-profit organization?

Generally, unless specific facts indicate otherwise, a non-governmental 501(c) non-profit organization would not be considered a "state office" or "federal office" for purposes of applying to be a Commission member.

Can an applicant who is a state employee and appointed to their position by the state agency apply?

Being "appointed" to state service by your appointing authority as defined by title 2, section 599.603 of the California Code of Regulations is not equivalent to being appointed by the Governor, any member of the Legislature, or any member of the State Board of Equalization, or serving at the pleasure of the Governor, any member of the Legislature, or any member of the State Board of Equalization, and on that basis, does not prohibit a state employee from serving as a member of the Commission.

What does it mean to be a "candidate"?

A "candidate" as an individual who:

  • Is listed on the ballot for nomination for or election to any elective office;
  • Has qualified to have write-in votes on his or her behalf counted by election officials, for nomination for or election to any elective office;
  • Receives a contribution with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to any elective office;
  • Makes an expenditure with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to any elective office; or
  • Gives his or her consent for any other person to receive a contribution or make an expenditure with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to any elective office.

"Candidate" also includes any officeholder who is the subject of a recall election. In addition, once a person becomes a candidate, that person retains his or her status as a candidate throughout the time of holding office.

Does serving in a CEA (Career Executive Assignment) disqualify an applicant from the Commission?

Whether holding a Career Executive Assignment constitutes a conflict of interest depends on who made the appointment, at whose pleasure the position holder has served, and the duties of the person holding the position. If the person holding the position was appointed to the position by the Governor, any member of the Legislature, or any member of the State Board of Equalization, or the person served at the pleasure of any of those officials, or the duties of the position currently includes serving as staff to the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, then the position can constitute a conflict of interest.

Can an applicant serve on the Commission if they were appointed to federal or state office more than 10 years ago, but served in that position within 10 years from their application?

No, being appointed to a state office includes when the person "has served in an appointed position at the pleasure of the Governor." Accordingly, even if an applicant was appointed more than 10 years before the date of the application, if the applicant served in that position at the pleasure of the Governor within the 10 year period, the applicant would be disqualified.

Does "state office" include a California court judgeship?

Yes, the term "state office" is defined as "every office, agency, department, division, bureau, board, and commission within the government of the State of California." It therefore includes a California court judgeship.

What is an "officer" of a political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective federal or state office?

The term "officer" is not defined in the laws governing the Citizens Redistricting Commission. However, we are interpreting an officer of a campaign committee to mean anyone having or sharing responsibility for approving the activities of the committee, including the following:

  • Authorizing the content of the communications made by the committee;
  • Authorizing expenditures, including contributions, on behalf of the committee; or
  • Determining the committee's campaign strategy.
What is a paid consultant?

A "paid consultant" is a person who, pursuant to a contract, provides expert advice or personal services related to conducting campaign activities or holding office, and who receives compensation for providing such advice or services.

What is a political party?

A "political party" is a political party that is operating in California by making expenditures to support candidates for elective public office in the state or is recognized by the Secretary of State as a qualified political party.

Does volunteer work for a political campaign disqualify an applicant?

No. An applicant will not be disqualified simply because he or she performed volunteer work for a California congressional campaign, so long as such volunteer work did not include serving as an officer of the political party or campaign committee. Government Code section 8252 disqualifies an applicant who, within 10 years prior to submitting an application, served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party operating in California, or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California federal or state elective office.

Does serving as an officer for a local political club disqualify an applicant?

An applicant will not be disqualified simply because he or she has been a member of, or has been an officer for a local political club. An applicant who, within 10 years prior to submitting an application, served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party operating in California, or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California federal or state elective office cannot serve on the Commission.

Does serving as a delegate to a state political party convention disqualify someone as an applicant?

An applicant who, within 10 years prior to submitting an application, served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party operating in California, or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California federal or state elective office cannot serve on the Commission. However, an applicant will not be disqualified simply for serving as a political party convention delegate, so long as the applicant did not also serve in any of the disqualifying roles described above.

Does "political party central committee" refer to a state central committee or county central committee?

A political party central committee is the designated body within a political party operating in California that directs the activities of the party throughout the state or within a particular county, such as a state central committee or a county central committee.

Is an applicant disqualified if elected as an alternate member of a political party central committee, but never served?

No. An applicant is not disqualified from serving on the Commission if the applicant declined the election or appointment and never served as a member of the committee. The applicant is only made ineligible by having begun to serve as a member of the central committee by either affirmatively or tacitly accepting the membership position. Performing any of the duties of a central committee member, such as attending meetings of the central committee in the capacity of a member, participating in central committee decisions, or representing oneself to others as a member of the central committee would be clear evidence of having accepted a membership position and having begun to serve as a member.

Is an applicant disqualified if registered as a lobbyist but never worked as one?

Yes, by law "federal, state, or local lobbyist" are those who registered as a lobbyist with the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, the California Secretary of State, or any political subdivision of the State of California. Accordingly, an individual who is registered as a lobbyist within 10 years preceding the date of application, but never performed work as one, is still considered a lobbyist and would be disqualified on that basis.

What is "paid congressional, legislative, or Board of Equalization staff"?

Paid congressional, legislative, or Board of Equalization staff are individually employed by and receiving compensation from the Congress of the United States to provide services to a member of Congress elected from California, or is employed by and receiving compensation from the Legislature or the State Board of Equalization. An intern who is not receiving compensation for working for a Legislative member would not be included in this definition nor does it include working for a congressperson elected from a different state

What is a "contribution"?

A contribution is any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office, or the payment of compensation for the personal services of another which are rendered to a political committee without charge.

With respect to contributions to a state or local candidate, a contribution is defined is a payment, a forgiveness of a loan, a payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable promise to make a payment, except to the extent that full and adequate consideration is received or if it is clear from the surrounding circumstances that the payment is not made for political purposes.

Why is the contribution threshold of $2,500 or more different from the $2,000 amount described in the statute?

The law states the $2,000 contribution amount will be adjusted every 10 years by the cumulative change in the California Consumer Price Index. For the 2020 Commission, the contribution threshold amount is $2,500.

What is the definition of "congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office"?

A congressional candidate for elective public office is any candidate for the office of Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States elected from California.

A state candidate for elective public office means any candidate for the Office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, member of the Legislature, member elected to the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System, member elected to the Teachers' Retirement Board, or member of the State Board of Equalization.

A local candidate for elective public office means any candidate for a regional, county, municipal, district, or judicial office in California that is filled by an election.

Does a contribution include donations to a PAC (political action committee)?

No. A contribution to a political action committee does not constitute a disqualifying conflict of interest under the Act.

Does a contribution to a local candidate for elective public office include payments made by the candidate to support his or her own candidacy for that office?

No. The regulations excludes from the definition of the term "contribution" the payments made by a candidate for local elective public office to support his or her own candidacy for that office.

Is an applicant disqualified if they made a contribution to the Democratic or Republican National Committee?

No. A contribution to a Democratic or Republican National Committee is not disqualifying, as a contribution to a federal political party is not a contribution to a congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office.

What is the definition of "staff"?

Staff and consultants to, persons under a contract with, and any person with an immediate family relationship with the Governor, a Member of the Legislature, a Member of Congress, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.

Staff is any person directly employed, with or without compensation, by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, a member of the Congress of the United States elected from California, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.

What is a "consultant"?

Consultant is any person who has entered into an agreement to provide consulting services to a political party, campaign committee, the Governor, a member of the Legislature, a member of Congress elected from California, or a member of the State Board of Equalization. The agreement may be either directly or through a business entity in which the person holds at least a 10% ownership interest. The term "consulting services" means expert advice or personal services related to conducting campaign activities or to holding congressional or state office.

Is an applicant disqualified if currently employed as staff within the Governor's Office, and report to the Governor's Chief of Staff?

Yes. Staff, consultants to, or persons under a contract with the Governor are disqualified from serving as Commission members. This includes staff, consultants to, or persons under a contract with the Office of the Governor, or those within the Office of the Governor.

Is an applicant disqualified if they have an immediate family relationship with an individual within the Office of the Governor, but not the Governor himself?

No, only individuals with an immediate family relationship with the Governor are automatically disqualified from serving as Commission members. An immediate family relationship with an individual within the Office of the Governor who is not the Governor would not, by itself, be disqualifying.