By Joe Mello
Long Beach Fifth District Councilwomen Stacy Mungo-Flanagan made it to the third round interviews of qualifying to be appointed to the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission(CCRC). In her CCRC interview this month to advance the 4th round, an hour into her hour-and-a-half interview the CCRC legal counsel read Mungo-Flanagan the California Constitution requirements that prohibit a CCRC member from holding any elected office including a city government office. The counsel further explained to the councilwomen she would have to resign if she was selected to serve on the CCRC. After an awkward pause, the usually long winded councilwomen simply replied “OK”.
The CCRC was created with the passage of Prop 11 in 2008 to draw the state legislature, congressional, and Board of Equalization district lines in an effort to eliminate gerrymandering. . The first 14 member commission was created in 2010 to draw lines after that year’s decennial national census.
Mungo’s April 14, 2020 interview (see link below) was scheduled to take place in Sacramento, but because of the COVID 19 pandemic was done online. The interview video and transcripts are posted online ( the April 14 interview transcripts were not yet complete at this story posting).
The first 23 minutes of Mungo’s interview were devoted to a standard five questions asked of all applicants (see link). The 3 person Applicant Review Panel then each asked questions.
At the 25:29 minute video mark in her interview video, Councilwomen Mungo is asked to go into detail explaining this reference in her first essay on her application ( see link below) that mentions her hard work to create Long Beach’s Citizens Redistrict Advisory Commission:
I believe an independent, non-partisan and transparent process for drawing district lines is critical to ensuring fair representation. As a non-partisan elected official, I see first hand the positive outcomes that are possible when a community is included and feels represented by the individual they have elected. I believe in this process so much, that as a Long Beach Councilmember I worked hard to create our own independent redistricting commission modeled after California’s process.
The idea for the Long Beach’s Citizens Redistrict Advisory Commission was first brought to the Long Beach City Council by Councilman Austin and then Councilwomen Lena Gonzalez as a July 21, 2015 Council Agenda Item (see link). In her interview answer, Mungo mentions Austin in passing but does not mention Gonzalez.
Mungo’s resume in her CCRC application (see link below) does include her work as a Los Angeles County Fire Department administrator and she is asked questions about that work in her interview. At the 54:19 video mark, councilwomen brings up her council position vs. her job as with a fire department. She states that her support of “Proportional Share” in times of budget cuts comes into conflict with her fire job. Mungo-Flanagan also alludes to the Long Beach budget future as requiring this again.
What Mungo’s CCRC application does not include is her work as Executive Director of the L.A. County Fire Foundation, which her Linkin Resume states is a full time position.
At the 56:00 video mark in the interview, Mungo-Flanagan is asked about her term of office on the Long Beach City Council. Mungo explains that she has the option to run for a third term and that she has not decided. She makes references to past council persons running again now that the city has approve 3 terms and that she and her husband will make that decision, but that she has reached out to others to possible run to replace her.
At 56: 25 video mark on the tape, Mungo is informed she cannot hold office and be on the CCRD. On the official CCRC website in the one of the tabs for the FAQ state:
Commission members cannot, for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment, hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in California. Elective public office at the federal level means an office of Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States that may be filled by an election in California.
The third round CCRC interviews include 120 people, 31 from Los Angeles County. Those 31 include two other locally elected officials Glendora Mayor/Councilman Michael Allawos and La Canada Councilman Keith Eich.
Two other Long Beach residents are on the 120 interview list are Long Beach Ethics Commissioner Margo Morales and small business owner Genevieve Murphy.
The Applicant Review Panel will meet on May 6- 8th to reduce the 120 round 3 applicants to 60- 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans and 20 non major party members. Those 60 names will be given to the state legislature leaders of both parties. The leaders have 24 “strikes” to eliminate 24 names. Eight names are then selected by a draw. Those 8 commissioners will then select the additional 6 commissioners from the remaining candidates. The 14 member commission will have 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 4 non major party members.
Citizens have a right to comment on any of the candidates before April 29th.