6 finalists proposed for citizens commission on redistricting

The citizens commission that will redraw the state’s voting districts nominated six more Californians for the panel Friday to address concerns that its initial makeup did not adequately reflect the state’s diversity.

About a month after the first eight commissioners were randomly selected by the state auditor from a pool of 36 finalists, the half-dozen additional people were chosen from the same pool. If confirmed in a vote of the other members, they will round out the 14-person commission. The commission set a vote for Wednesday.

The panel’s membership as proposed Friday would be evenly divided by gender and include four people primarily identified as Asian Americans, three as Latino or Hispanic, three as white, two as African Americans, one as a Pacific Islander and one as Native American.

“It’s important that the public see themselves in the commission,” said panelist Stanley Forbes, a bookstore owner.


Commission member Connie Galambos Malloy said the panel’s description of its ethnic makeup does not provide the full picture. She is listed as African American but says she is also Latino: Her parents are from Colombia.

The six members proposed Friday are Gabino Aguirre, a Democrat and resident of Santa Paula who is a consultant to a Ventura County mental health agency; Maria Blanco, a Democrat who recently moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, where she is a vice president for a college foundation; Lilbert “Gil” Ontai, a Republican from San Diego who is a college math lecturer; Michael Ward, a Republican chiropractor from Anaheim; M. Andre Parvenu, a Culver City resident, a decline-to-state voter and a zoning analyst for the Los Angeles Planning Department; and Michelle DiGuilio-Matz, a decline to state voter from Stockton and a teaching coordinator at a university.