Elaine W. Kuo, a Mountain View resident and college researcher for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District's Office of Institutional Research and Planning, was chosen at random from the 36 eligible applicants.
"I feel honored that I was selected," Kuo said, noting that she was initially surprised at the news.
Kuo said she has always been interested in politics and felt that applying to be on the commission would "be a good way to get involved, to serve the people of California and to engage the community."
After filling out an online application, Kuo was asked to answer screening questions and write an essay; after that there was another screening, a panel interview and yet another screening; a legislative team then whittled a group of 60 potential commissioners down to 36.
On Nov. 18, State Auditor Elaine M. Howle drew Kuo's name from the pool of 36, along with the names of seven others from throughout the state. The names were divided among three sub-pools. Howle picked three from a sub-pool of Democrats, three from a sub-pool of Republicans and two from a sub-pool of individuals that are registered as a third party or decline-to-state.
Kuo and her fellow commissioners are now charged with selecting six more from the remaining pool of 28 — two from each sub-pool. After all 14 positions are filled, the commission will use census data to redraw district lines for the election of representatives for the state Senate, Assembly, state Board of Equalization, and U.S. Congress.
The commission was created after the passage of Proposition 11, which took the redistricting power out of the hands the Legislature, putting it into the hands of the people. The commission will draw the district lines in conformity with rules intended to ensure representation for all Californians.