Pasadena hired controversial company as consultant for its redistribution
The city of Pasadena has hired the National Demographics Corporation (NDC) to draw up its redistribution plan.
By Brandon Tran
In the niche realm of redistribution, insiders and elected officials often view NDC as the go-to company for incumbent protection, which NDC denies. Douglas Johnson, chairman of the NDC, was a researcher at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, which many see as a conservative-leaning political think tank.
Redistribution can have a serious impact on political influence, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, as it can influence who wins elections, how laws are passed, and other political benefits.
When NDC was selected to help with the redistribution of Santa Barbara, the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara wrote a letter requesting that the city redistribution commission allow the people of Santa Barbara to propose alternative candidates; but the redistribution commission decided to continue working with NDC until further notice.
In 2019, a judge rejected testimony Johnson provided to support Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina redistribution. Johnson claimed his demographic analysis showed that the redistribution maps provided by Common Cause, a non-partisan political advocacy organization, had a population differential of 36% compared to maps implemented by lawmakers. However, the lawyer for Common Cause said Johnson had excluded nearly twelve districts from his review. As a result, Johnson was unable to state with certainty what proportion of North Carolina residents were actually affected by the redistribution of the state, confessed he made several mistakes during questioning. and was deemed by the judge to be unreliable.
NDC has also had a controversial history in other states. The US Department of Justice found that the political maps it designed for Arizona in 2001 put Latino voters at a disadvantage. In 2018, a judge ruled that NDC did the same in Kern County, California. In May 2021, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission accepted the joint proposal of NDC and another entity as the Commission’s redistricting consultants over strong objections, citing the controversies of 2001.
Los Angeles County
Additionally, NDC withdrew his candidacy as a demographer finalist for the LA County Independent Constituency Commission this year after activists and residents protested that NDC was not non-partisan or pro-minority. .