Tuesday, March 08, 2011

CA Power Shifts

In a recent post that asks Greens to get down and dirty, I made the point that the communities of the Central Valley had a set of problems that were not getting solved by the Parties that Be and which cry out for Green Solutions. While this was picked up and re-published elsewhere, including on the GPCA facebook page, the reactions were predictable At best, there was a suggestion that we need to take advantage of our largest groups of Greens and build out from there. I had been arguing that we need respond to the greatest need.

This week, we got a first glance at the 2010 census data. The quick story is that CA will begin to look a bit more red. While coastal areas had little growth in the past 10 years, the Central Valley has grown rapidly.

According to a recent listing of state wide vote statistics, the only county where we had over 10K Greens was Los Angeles with 21,091. The other large counties were Alameda, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange, Sonoma, Sacramento, Santa Clara with all having over 4000 registered Greens. Of that group, only San Diego County grew by as much as 10% in the past decade. Our largest county, Los Angeles, only grew by 2%.

In contrast, the inland counties grew much faster: Kern, Tulare, Merced and San Joaquin Counties all had over 20% growth while the larger Fresno County grew by 16%. Most of these areas are conservative enough that it takes skilled gerrymandering to generate a Democratic Congressman there. In Southern California, it was just as striking, with Imperial County growing by 23% and Riverside County by a whopping 42%.

Inevitably, political power is going to shift in this state as soon as the Redistricting Commission finishes it's task. There is no doubt that California Republican Party Chair Ron Nehring is feeling good. Green, with no representation on the Commission, need to be very focused in our effort because no one is going to help us out of the goodness of their hearts.

I am still waiting for economic data to be available. Still, when you look at the need, and the growth, it seems clear to me that we need to be much more active in those portions of the state undergoing the greatest growth and having the greatest need. The greatest change should provide the greatest opportunity. Green growth will only happen with Greens from all over decide to make it happen. A farmer does not reap a crop sitting in front of the TV.

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