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Weeks before it is scheduled to release preliminary maps of new legislative and congressional districts, California's first-ever Citizens Redistricting Commission will solicit public comment this week in Auburn.

The Auburn event, one of a series of public hearings statewide by the 14-member commission, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Placer County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 175 Fulweiler Ave.

Participants are urged to testify about their community, the kind of people who live there, important issues, and communities of interest -- meaning, groups that share common interests and should be considered in drawing district boundaries in time for next year's statewide election.

The commission, created when voters passed Proposition 11 in 2008, is scheduled to release preliminary maps on June 10, a key step toward completing its work by Aug. 15.

The citizens panel is charged with setting boundaries for California's 120 legislative districts, 53 congressional districts, and four Board of Equalization districts. Five Democrats, five Republicans and four independent or minor-party voters sit on the commission, with three votes required from each bloc to approve new maps.

The commission also is accepting written testimony, either by e-mail at votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov; by fax at 916-322-0904; or by mail to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, 1130 K St., Suite 101, Sacramento, Ca., 95814.

Comments must be received by Monday to be considered in drawing the preliminary maps. More information can be obtained from the commission's Web site, www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.



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