Application for J. Ray Kennedy PhD

Initial Application

Below is the initial application for the Citizens Redistricting Commission. In this section of the application you will be asked to provide personal information that will assist the Applicant Review Panel in processing your application.

You do not have to complete the entire application at one time. At any point, you can save your application using the "Save Application" button. After the application has been saved, you can return to this site to complete the application using your email and password if you choose to set one. Be sure to submit your initial application on or before August 19, 2019.

All fields with * are required to submit the application.

Identification Information
J.
Ray
Kennedy
PhD
Physical Address
Morongo Valley
92256
San Bernardino
Mailing Address (If different than Physical Address)
Palm Springs
92262

Gender

Gender*

Racial or Ethnic Background

Select the circle that best describes your race/ethnicity*
Latino Group
Pacific Islander Group
Asian Group
Other Groups

The Voters FIRST Act is designed to produce a Citizens Redistricting Commission that is reasonably representative of the state's diversity. This information is required to help the Applicant Review Panel identify a diverse pool of the most qualified applicants. Although your specific date of birth will remain confidential, your age may be calculated from your date of birth and made public.

Economic Status

What was your total household income during the past 12 months?*

Eligibility Information

If you are uncertain about your prior voting registration, voting record, or party affiliation, we suggest that you contact the county clerk or voter registrar in the county in which you resided during the period of time in question. The contact information and address for California's county elections offices can be found at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

1. Have you been continuously registered to vote in the State of California since July 1, 2015?*

2. With what party are you registered?*

3. Has your political party affiliation remained the same since July 1, 2015?

4. Indicate in which of the last three statewide general elections you voted, (check all that apply)*:

Conflicts of Interest

The Voters FIRST Act (Act) is designed to produce a Citizens Redistricting Commission that is independent from legislative influence and, therefore, disqualifies from service any person having a conflict of interest as defined by the Act. The information below is required to help the State Auditor and the Applicant Review Panel identify any conflicts of interest you may have.

5. Have you done any of the following within 10 years of the date you submit this application:

5a. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office (Appointed means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization; or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization)?*

5b. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office?*

5c. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee in California?*

5d. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government?*

5e. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application been a registered federal lobbyist?*

5f. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as a paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff?*

5g. Have you within 10 years of the date you submit this application contributed $2,500 or more to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office within any single calendar year?(This amount has been adjusted using the California Consumer Price Index.)*

6. Are you currently serving as staff, or as a consultant to the Governor of California, a member of the California Legislature, a California member of Congress, or a member of the State Board of Equalization?*

7. Are you currently under contract with the Governor of California, a member of the California Legislature, a California member of Congress, or a member of the State Board of Equalization?*

When answering questions 8 and 9, immediate family means your parents, step-parents, spouse, registered domestic partner, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, parents-in-law, siblings-in-law, and sons- and daughters-in-law with whom you have done the following:

8. Do you have an immediate family relationship with the Governor of California, a member of the California Legislature, a California member of Congress, or a member of the State Board of Equalization?*

9. Has a member of your immediate family done any of the following within 10 years of the date you submit this application:

9a. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office? (Appointed means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization)?*

9b. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office?*

9c. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee in California?*

9d. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government?*

9e. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application been a registered federal lobbyist?*

9f. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application served as a paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff?*

9g. Has a member of your immediate family within 10 years of the date you submit this application contributed $2,500 or more to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office within any single calendar year?(This amount has been adjusted using the California Consumer Price Index.)*

PRIVACY NOTIFICATION AND WAIVER

LEGAL AUTHORITY AND REASON FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

The Voters FIRST Act (Act) and the regulations implementing the Act require that the selection of commissioners for the Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) be open to public scrutiny and the press (California Constitution, Article XXI, section 2, subdivision (c); Government Code sections 8252, 11120, 11121, and 11125.1; California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 60835, 60836, 60842, and 60846). The Act also requires the California State Auditor's Office (State Auditor's Office) to select 60 of the most qualified applicants based upon their voter affiliation; eligibility to serve pursuant to Article XXI of the California Constitution; the absence of any conflicts of interest; relevant analytical skills; ability to be impartial; appreciation for California's diverse demographics and geography; and racial, ethnic, geographic, gender, and economic diversity. To determine each applicant's identity and qualifications to serve on the Commission and to track the demographic information of the applicant pool, this application seeks personal information about applicants that will be provided to the Applicant Review Panel, State Auditor's Office staff, and the public, including members of the press, the Legislature, and the Commission.

CONSEQUENCE OF NOT PROVIDING ALL REQUESTED INFORMATION

Failure to provide all of the requested information will result in your disqualification and the removal of your name from the applicant pool. Thus, if you wish to serve on the Commission, it is mandatory that you submit a response for each item of information requested.

PERMISSION TO USE AND RELEASE PERSONAL INFORMATION

By submitting this application, you acknowledge that the application, all documents submitted in support of your application, including a Statement of Economic Interests (FPPC Form 700) if you are asked to submit one, letters of recommendation, materials generated as a result of any State Auditor's Office or Applicant Review Panel investigation of you, and all public comments and responses to public comments about your application are public records. You agree that the State Auditor's Office shall provide copies of these materials to members of the public and the press, members and staff of the Applicant Review Panel, State Auditor's Office staff, the Legislature, the Commission, and as otherwise compelled by law. You understand that members of the Applicant Review Panel and the public may make public statements about you. You authorize the State Auditor's Office to use the information submitted by and about you as the State Auditor's Office deems necessary to select commissioners, replacement commissioners, or otherwise comply with its legal duties. You also authorize the State Auditor's Office to post all materials related to your application to serve on the Commission on its website and any website authorized by the State Auditor's Office.

VOLUNTARY WAIVER OF PRIVACY RIGHTS AND STATE AUDITOR'S OFFICE LIABILITY

By applying to be a commissioner, you are waiving your privacy and other rights under various state and federal laws including, but not limited to, the Information Practices Act (Cal. Civil Code section 1798 et seq.), and any defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligence claim you may have against the State Auditor's Office and those acting on its behalf. Accordingly, by waiving your privacy rights, you are agreeing to permit the State Auditor's Office to release any and all information submitted by or about you, EXCEPT that the State Auditor's Office will not post on the Internet your date of birth; physical, mailing, and email addresses (excluding the city and county); telephone numbers; the addresses and telephone numbers of your immediate family members; or any materials that the State Auditor's Office deems offensive. At this point in the process, the State Auditor's Office will not collect, and you should not voluntarily submit to the State Auditor's Office, your social security number, driver's license number, financial account numbers, or health information. By submitting your application, you acknowledge and consent to the release of the information you and others are providing related to you and, except as specifically provided above, you are waiving your right to privacy regarding all information relating to you and your application to serve as a commissioner. This waiver authorizes the State Auditor's Office to make public information submitted by or about you for a period of 12 years from the date of your application, even if you are not selected as a commissioner. You are providing this waiver voluntarily, understanding that the State Auditor's Office shall not be legally liable as a result of the release of information submitted by or about you or as the result of comments made about you by others, and that the State Auditor's Office will post on its website or otherwise release publicly. This includes claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, and any other statutory or common law claims.

WHOM TO CONTACT

You have a right to review personal information the State Auditor's Office maintains about you and to verify its accuracy. Please contact the State Auditor's Office's Information Privacy Officer at (916) 445-0255; 621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200, Sacramento, California, 95814; if you would like to view or obtain information about the location of your records and the categories of persons who use the information in your records.

Affirmation

I affirm, by entering my initials in the box, that the statements contained in this application are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and that I have read and understand the Privacy Notification and Waiver.

JRK

06/25/2019 5:01:58PM

Supplemental Application

Congratulations on moving forward to the supplemental application for the Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission). You must provide an answer to all questions that apply to you. If you miss a question, you will be prompted to answer missing responses before you can submit the application.

You do not have to complete the entire application at one time. At any point, you can save your application using the "Save Application" button. After the application has been saved, you can use your email address and password to return to this site to complete the application. Be sure to submit your supplemental application on or before October 20, 2019.

All fields with * are required to submit the application.

Part 1: Essay Questions:

The response to each of the following essay questions is limited to no more than 3200 characters including spaces (approximately 500 words). The response fields below will allow you to cut and paste text from any word processing program such as Microsoft Word.

For nearly 30 years, I have worked - initially (1990-2000) for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and since 2000 for the United Nations System - to help countries around the world organize and administer sound elections. During that time, I have watched with growing concern as the quality of elections here at home has declined - at least in relative terms compared to the progress made in other countries. I would like to have the opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of our democracy at home just as I have done in so many other countries around the world.

I believe very deeply that the survival of American democracy depends in significant measure on the people feeling well-represented by our legislators, and a large element of that is ensuring that communities of interest - no matter what they are - feel that they have a realistic opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.

I would also like to see California continuing to serve as a model for the other states in the union - I see citizens of other states fighting the battle to have the right to draw their own lines through citizen redistricting commissions, and I know that the better job we do here in California, the more likely they are to win the right that we already enjoy.

The Commission is also important because there is very little effective way to control the actions of legislators when they decide to legislate in their own self-interest. My PhD dissertation looked at just that phenomenon in Latin America and the possibility that citizens might be able to exercise ultimate control through mechanisms of direct democracy (such as referendum, initiative, and recall). I found that while most citizens expect their elected legislators to carry out the routine legislative business of society, they are indeed interested in being able to make their voices heard on critical issues and in blocking legislators' efforts to legislate in their own self-interest rather than in the interest of the society at large. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is, in a way, its own form of direct democracy, and it is imperative that it perform its function with the greatest possible seriousness and dedication.

For the nearly 30 years that I have worked in the field of international electoral assistance, the concept of impartiality -- doing what is in the best interest of society rather than what is in my own or some other individual interest -- has been my guiding star. I have always understood that as an outsider, I have no business taking any action to influence the outcome of an election; my role has been to help my counterparts organize and administer their elections in the most professional manner possible.

As a member (and eventually vice chair) of the election commission that oversaw Afghanistan's 2004 presidential elections, I was part of a collegial decision-making body. In that setting, I knew that it was my role to express and explain my point of view on each issue coming before us but to accept and support the decisions eventually reached by the body. I also worked to ensure that every candidate was treated equally by the Commission and our staff.

In relation to elections at home, I also believe very deeply that election officials have no business taking any action to influence the outcome of an election; their job is to administer a technically sound process based on the existing legal framework through which the people's voices are heard and faithfully translated into outcomes that all will respect. If election officials are acting in ways that distort the people's voices, they become a dangerous destabilizing factor in our democracy.

In relation to drawing the lines here in California, I recognized while attending our local hearing of the CCRC eight years ago that there were speakers from the audience who had very strong partisan interests even as they were offering what were touted as "technical" proposals. I'm therefore under no illusion that it is easy to separate technical considerations from political considerations, but I do believe that with my experience in a wide variety of settings, I am capable of making the distinction and focusing the Commission's discussions on the technical considerations that need to guide them.

I have been a California resident for nearly 15 years and have found the state's diversity to be one of its biggest strengths. As part of my commitment to that diversity and based on my work around the world to promote the political participation of people with disabilities, I have served as an advisor to Riverside County's Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee since its establishment in 2015. I participated in two annual conferences of the Future of California Elections coalition and attended the 2014 annual meeting of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. I have also participated in some of the Carter Center's work on ensuring the political participation of Native American communities.

In 2012, 2013, and 2016, I helped organize international delegations to visit California to see how our elections are administered, particularly in relation to promoting the political participation of people with disabilities. Some of the participants have returned home and implemented ideas that they saw in practice here in California.

I should mention that I am in the process of moving from an urban area (Palm Springs) to a rural area (Morongo Valley) and am involved in a newly formed community action group that has as one of its aims to maintain the small-town character of Morongo Valley. Group members come from a wide variety of social backgrounds, but we are all united in wanting to live in a better and stronger community and are able to work together on that basis.

I would also like to highlight that my elections work in other countries has required me to demonstrate an appreciation for the diversity of each of those countries, treating all communities and all citizens with respect. Additionally, the teams I have led have included as many as 65 nationalities, and I have always treated them as equals no matter their place of origin. I will do the same in the context of the CCRC.

Having studied Comparative Politics in the course of my doctoral work, I understand that some social cleavages are cross-cutting - with differing coalitions falling on different sides of various social divides - while others are reinforcing, with the same groups coming down on the same side of multiple social divides. This will be a factor that the CCRC will have to look at in each and every decision.

I also understand that for the survival of democracy, the rules (and the implementation of those rules) must be perceived as fair by the losers. Winners will always support the rules under which they won, but if substantial numbers of citizens feel that they are losing every fight as a result of rules that they perceive as unfair, or as a result of the implementation of those rules not being perceived as fair, they will eventually work to undermine the system. This is where the citizens of California have, in my opinion, done a great service to the entire country by establishing a successful model of how a citizens redistricting commission can be established in law and implemented in practice in a way that garners support across the political spectrum.

In my overseas assignments, the most important element in my work is familiarizing myself with the legal framework for the elections - the constitution, the electoral law, other relevant laws, and the rules and regulations established by the election office - and ensuring that it is fully respected. As vice chairman of the electoral commission for the 2004 presidential elections in Afghanistan, I led many discussions of the electoral law (which I had helped draft) and how we could apply it, even in situations that were not specifically contemplated during drafting. This was complicated by the fact that the commission comprised individuals from Afghanistan and five other countries, each of whom had their own understanding of the best way to proceed in any given situation. Later, as head of the UN's electoral team in Sudan, I led a review of Sudan's electoral law for my staff, after which they indicated that they had never had such a thorough understanding of a law they were working to implement.
As a senior advisor to UN officials, national authorities, and community-based stakeholders in highly charged political environments, I have had to assess information from a wide variety of sources, distinguish facts from opinions, understand the political interests at play, and offer solid professional advice. I have also had to explain highly complex electoral laws and procedures to candidates, journalists, election observers, and other stakeholders, seeking always to ensure that everyone has (as much as possible) the same understanding, since differing understandings easily lead to conflict.
I am accustomed to writing concise reports to senior officials on politically sensitive issues and was the international spokesperson for the election commission in Afghanistan. As a commissioner, I had to both internalize and help explain to other commissioners the importance of the chain of command: that the Commission as a whole provided policy direction to the Chief Electoral Officer, that it was his responsibility to ensure that our policy directives were carried out, and that we as individual commissioners had no direct role in instructing him or any member of his staff.
As Director of the UN's Electoral Division in Liberia for the 2005 elections, I oversaw a districting process, advising the Election Commission and other stakeholders on relevant legal provisions and the likely impact of Commission decisions.
I have collected maps since I was a teenager and am competent at using them. In my elections work, I use maps to review the placement of polling centers in relation to the distribution of the population.
I frequently use spreadsheet programs. As the UN's advisor to Jordan's Independent Election Commission, I used Excel to present the Board of Commissioners an analysis of the performance of district electoral bodies in conveying election results accurately.
I was the primary user liaison for the development of a PC-based relational database and a mainframe-based automated publishing program.
I took a statistics course as part of my formal education and used statistical software (SPSS) in analyzing public opinion data for my PhD.

Part 2: General Information

Secondary Education
Did you graduate from high school?*
If not, do you possess a GED or equivalent?

University or College, Business, Correspondence, Trade, or Service School(s) Attended

Post-Secondary Education
University of Virginia -- Charlottesville, VA
Economics
BA
4
Dec 1980
Post-Secondary Education
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Latin American Studies, International Economics
MA
2
May 1984
Post-Secondary Education
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Latin American Studies
PhD
7
May 2000
Post-Secondary Education
National University of Ireland / Galway Campus
International Disability Law Summer School
Certificate
<1
June 2014

Employment History

Employment History
08/01/2019
10/2019
N/A
not employed outside the home
N/A

- Working on home restoration
- Working on preparing home for sale

Employment History
03/06/2017
04/30/2017
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
12/01/2016
03/05/2017
United Nations Development Program / Papua New Guinea
Referendum and Peacebuilding Expert
4 months

- Assist national and regional governments in the establishment of the Bougainville Referendum Commission
- Brief government officials and civil society groups about referendum experiences elsewhere and the preparations involved

Employment History
07/11/2016
12/31/2016
Valley Sanitary District
Senior Management Analyst
7 months

- Draft new policies and revise existing policies based on best practices in similar special districts
- Compile District code from existing and new documents, ensuring full compliance with various California codes (Government Code, Elections Code, Health & Safety Code)

Employment History
11/03/2015
12/31/2016
The Carter Center
Consultant
14 months

- Meet with and provide technical advice to key stakeholders in Mozambique and Liberia on ways to better meet international standards through electoral reform
- Assess electoral preparations in Liberia

Employment History
09/01/2015
11/02/2015
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
06/12/2019
7/31/2019
United Nations Development Program / Belize
External Evaluator
1+ month

- Meet with UNDP/Belize, Government of Belize, donors, and other stakeholders
- Prepare evaluation report

Employment History
04/19/2019
06/11/2019
N/A
not employed outside the home
N/A

- Working on home restoration

Employment History
04/04/2019
04/18/2019
United Nations Development Program / Angola
Electoral Specialist
< 1 month

- Meet with key stakeholders to discuss electoral reform issues and options
- Facilitate high-level dialogue among those stakeholders
- Prepare report on discussions, including recommendations

Employment History
03/01/2019
04/03/2019
N/A
not employed outside the home
N/A

- Working on home restoration

Employment History
10/08/2018
02/28/2019
United Nations Development Program / Papua New Guinea
Senior Electoral Specialist (Referendum)
5 months

- Mobilize resources for the implementation of the Bougainville Referendum Support Project
- Coordinate international assistance to the referendum preparations generally, including close coordination of all UN assistance to the process.

Employment History
11/15/2017
09/30/2018
United Nations Development Program / Papua New Guinea
Senior Electoral Specialist (Referendum)
10+ months

- Finalize Bougainville Referendum Support Project project document
- Provide technical & advisory support to government officials to assist in the establishment of the Bougainville Referendum Commission and ensure steady progress towards the referendum

Employment History
10/16/2017
11/14/2017
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

- Search for new property

Employment History
05/01/2017
10/15/2017
United Nations Development Program / Papua New Guinea
Senior Electoral Expert (Elections and Referendum)
5+ months

- Coordinate international observers for the 2017 PNG Elections
- Conduct consultations, meetings, and other actions with key donors and stakeholders of both governments to motivate donors and mobilize resources for the implementation of the Bougainville

Employment History
03/24/2015
08/31/2015
United Nations Development Program / Papua New Guinea
Senior Electoral Expert
5 months

- Overall coordination of small expert team training journalists and party agents, developing an appropriate dispute-resolution mechanism, and coordinating observers
- Organize a comprehensive lessons-learned exercise

Employment History
02/11/2015
03/15/2015
United Nations Electoral Assistance Division
Consultant
1 month

- Review and grade 75 written assignments for D1 / P5 candidates for the Electoral Affairs roster, in accordance with grading guidelines approved by the Electoral Assistance Division and the Field Personnel Division.

Employment History
10/8/2014
02/10/2015
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
04/03/2014
10/07/2014
United Nations Development Program / Fiji
Senior Electoral Advisor
6 months

- Monitor legal and political developments related to Fiji's electoral process and report to UN HQ
- Advise the UN on UN electoral policy and procedures on all issues related to Fiji's electoral process
- Participate in meetings and discussions with national and international interlocutors

Employment History
02/01/2014
04/02/2014
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
06/01/2013
01/31/2014
United Nations Development Program / Jordan
Electoral Legal Advisor
8 months

- Conduct focus group discussions on current legal framework with Commissioners, Directors, other IEC staff, and external stakeholders
- Propose revisions to / support drafting of IEC Law, Electoral Law, and Executive Instructions

Employment History
03/01/2013
05/31/2013
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

- working with my brother to settle deceased father's estate and organize memorial service
- participated in official Visitor Program for British Columbia's provincial elections

Employment History
05/21/2012
02/28/2013
United Nations Development Program / Jordan
Senior Electoral Expert
10 months

- Recruit and manage the activities of national and international advisors
- Provide sound technical advice to the Independent Election Commission on a full range of legal, operational, public outreach, and administrative issues

Employment History
02/25/2012
05/31/2012
Conflict Dynamics International
Senior Technical Advisor
4 months

- Contribute to CDI's overall work on political accommodation in Sudan and South Sudan
- Review and revise briefing note on draft South Sudan electoral law
- Conceptualize future activities for CDI in Sudan and South Sudan

Employment History
02/01/2012
02/24/2012
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
12/23/2011
01/31/2012
United Nations Electoral Assistance Division
Senior Electoral Expert (D-1)
1 month

- Draft four policy documents for the Electoral Assistance Division:
- Electoral Systems
- Electoral Management
- Legal Framework
- Promoting the Electoral Rights of Persons with Disabilities through UN Electoral Assistance

Employment History
11/23/2011
12/31/2011
International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Consultant
1+ month

- Assess the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections
- Advise on ways to improve subsequent phases of the elections
- Identify immediate and future needs of election body

Employment History
10/31/2011
11/30/2011
International IDEA
ACE Steering Board Meeting Facilitator
1 month

- Advise ACE Project Secretariat on a process for the Steering Board meeting
- Consult partner organizations to gather input prior to meeting
- Facilitate and guide discussions at the meeting

Employment History
05/01/2011
10/30/2011
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

- Attended UN Senior Mission Leader Training, Pretoria, South Africa

Employment History
03/30/2011
04/30/2011
United Nations Development Program Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Electoral Dispute Resolution Expert
1 month

Visit Liberia prior to the 2011 elections in order to:
- Assess the risks for electoral conflict / electoral violence eruption
- Assess the electoral conflict prevention and electoral dispute resolution capacities of local stakeholders

Employment History
03/01/2011
03/29/2011
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

N/A

Employment History
12/10/2010
02/28/2011
United Nations Development Program / Bureau of Development Policy
Electoral Expert
2+ months

- Review and revise UN Electoral Assistance Division's Field Operations Manual

Employment History
09/01/2010
12/09/2010
N/A
Not employed outside the home
N/A

- attended UN meeting on Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - spoke at event in Mexico on Political Participation of People with Disabilities
- moved father from Independent Living to Memory Care

Employment History
10/26/2007
08/31/2010
United Nations Mission in Sudan
Chief Electoral Affairs Advisor
34 months

- Manage Electoral Division, including recruitment, management, and evaluation of 250+ staff
- Advise UN, electoral commission, election observer groups, etc. on international standards and practices, electoral system options, calendar, budget, operations / logistics, procedures, training, public outreach

Employment History
01/19/2007
01/31/2019
United Nations Development Program / Saudi Arabia
International Expert (on loan from UNDP/Mexico)
<1 month

- Advise UNDP/Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs on methodology to evaluate the 2005 municipal elections
- Develop discussion guides and questionnaires for the evaluation

Employment History
04/26/2006
06/30/2007
United Nations Development Program / Mexico
International Electoral Expert
15 months

- Advise domestic election observer groups on operational issues
- Train electoral officials in international standards of election observation
- Speak on a variety of electoral topics at events organized by state election offices and universities around Mexico

Employment History
04/19/2006
04/24/2006
United Nations Development Program / Haiti
Senior Local Elections Planning Advisor (Consultant)
<1 month

- Analyze state of election preparations and advise UNDP on best timing for municipal elections

Employment History
01/02/2006
01/13/2006
International IDEA
Consultant
<1 month

- Analyze current status and content of Administration and Cost of Elections electronic encyclopedia
- Develop recommendations for enhancements to ACE Project documentation and website/CD functionality

Employment History
05/17/2005
12/17/2005
United Nations Mission in Liberia
Director, Electoral Division (D-1)
7 months

- Manage Electoral Division, including recruitment, management, and evaluation of 200+ staff
- Advise UN, electoral commission, election observer groups, etc. on international standards and practices, electoral system options, calendar, budget, operations / logistics, procedures, training, public outreach

Employment History
10/12/2003
05/15/2005
United Nations Development Program / Afghanistan
International Electoral Expert (A4)
19 months

- Serve as member/Vice Chair and spokesperson of Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB), which provided policy guidance and oversight to elections secretariat (operational body)
- Advise JEMB on full range of technical electoral matters

Employment History
04/28/2003
09/30/2003
United Nations Development Program / Mexico
International Electoral Expert
5 months

- Advise domestic election observer groups on operational issues
- Train electoral officials in international standards of election observation
- Speak on a variety of electoral topics at events organized by state election offices and universities around Mexico

Employment History
11/14/2002
11/26/2002
United Nations Electoral Assistance Division
Consultant, Georgia Electoral Needs Assessment Mission
<1 month

- Analyze electoral legislation
- Meet with Georgian electoral and government officials to determine preparedness of Electoral Commission of Georgia to organize and administer parliamentary elections

Employment History
07/10/2002
07/19/2002
International IDEA
Consultant
<1 month

- Analyze current status and content of Administration and Cost of Elections electronic encyclopedia
- Develop recommendations for enhancements to ACE Project documentation and website/CD functionality

Employment History
09/01/2000
06/20/2002
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)
Senior Electoral Officer (P-5)
22 months

- Advise Board of Commissioners and senior mission leadership on technical electoral matters
- Compile, edit, and disseminate substantive reports of the electoral commission
- Serve as resource person on electoral policy and practice for all electoral staff

Employment History
07/01/1992
06/02/2000
International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Director, Information Resources
7 years 11 months

- Direct the F. Clifton White Resource Center, the world's largest multimedia collection of materials related to elections, election administration, and civic participation
- Represent organization as speaker at professional conferences

Employment History
11/01/1990
06/30/1992
International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Senior Program Officer, Americas
20 months

- Developed project proposals and budgets for election assistance projects
- Coordinated technical election assistance projects
- Contracted and supervised consultants

Activities

I have been a campaign volunteer in two city council elections in Palm Springs.

I co-organized international election observer visits to Riverside County and Los Angeles County in 2012, 2013, and 2016.

I financially supported and participated in the organization and promotion of three "LAnCV" art shows in Indio (2014, 2015, 2016) to bring the work of contemporary artists from the Los Angeles area to the Coachella Valley Art Center

Former Names, Nicknames or Aliases

Have you used or been known by any other names, nicknames, or aliases since you became an adult?*

I have always gone by my middle name; I only use my first name when required by law and otherwise occasionally use my first initial before my middle name.

Criminal History

Have you ever been convicted of a felony by any court?*

Voting Information

When you voted in any of the last three statewide general elections (i.e. the elections in November 2014, November 2016, and November 2018), did you vote using a different name or address than those you used on the initial application?*

Former Residences

List all of the places you have lived for 30 days or more at one time during the last 10 years (do not include information for where you lived prior to your 18th birthday). This does not include your current residence. If you lived in temporary housing while permanently residing somewhere else, note that with an * in the street address line:

Former Residence
Khartoum, Sudan
* while on UN contract in Sudan
11/2007
08/2010
Former Residence
Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
10/2018
02/2019
Former Residence
Amman, Jordan
* while on UN contract in Jordan
05/2012
03/2013
Former Residence
Amman, Jordan
* while on UN contract in Jordan
08/2013
10/2013
Former Residence
Suva, Fiji
* while on UN contract in Fiji
03/2014
05/2014
Former Residence
Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
04/2015
08/2015
Former Residence
Buka, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
12/2016
03/2017
Former Residence
Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
05/2017
09/2017
Former Residence
Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
11/2017
03/2018
Former Residence
Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
05/2018
07/2018
Former Residence
Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea
* while on UN contract in Papua New Guinea
08/2018
09/2018
Former Residence
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Riverside
12/2004
09/2019

Financial Contributions

List all of the monetary and non-monetary contributions valued at a total of $250 or more that you have made in any single calendar year during the past two years to any professional, social, political, volunteer, and/or community organization or cause. Begin with your most recent contribution:

Financial Contribution
August 2019
Pete for America
South Bend, Indiana
$100
Financial Contribution
July 2019
Pete for America
South Bend, Indiana
$100
Financial Contribution
May 2019
Pete for America
South Bend, Indiana
$100
Financial Contribution
April 2019
Pete for America
South Bend, Indiana
$100

Part 3: Family Information

You must provide information about each living family member described in this paragraph. Information about each of your family members is necessary to determine whether you have a conflict of interest that would prohibit you from serving on the Citizens Redistricting Commission. In this part of the application, you must provide information about your living parents, spouse, registered domestic partner (RDP), children, siblings, parents-in-law, siblings-in-law, sons-and daughters-in-law. Step-parents, step-children, and step-siblings count as parents, children, and siblings.

Do you have any immediate family members as described?*
Family Member
Spouse/Registed Domestic Partner (RDP)
Foster K. Tucker
For this family member, you must state whether within the past 10 years this person has engaged in any of the activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest under the Voters FIRST Act. The following is a list of those activities:
  • Been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office. ("Appointed" means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.)
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office.
  • Served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee operating in California.
  • Been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government.
  • Been a registered federal lobbyist.
  • Served as paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff.
  • Contributed $2,500 or more during a calendar year to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office.
Within the past 10 years, has the family member engaged in any of these activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest?*

For each family member you must indicate whether you have a special (bona fide) relationship with that person. You have a special (bona fide) relationship with a family member if during the past 12 months you have (Guidance for determining Conflicts of Interest):

  1. Cohabitated with that person for a period or periods totaling 30 days or more.
  2. Shared with that person ownership of any real or personal property having a total value of $1,000 or more.
  3. Provided to or received from that person a financial benefit totaling $1,000 or more.
Do you have a special relationship with this person based on any of the three factors described?*
Family Member
Sibling
Robert C. Kennedy Jr.
For this family member, you must state whether within the past 10 years this person has engaged in any of the activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest under the Voters FIRST Act. The following is a list of those activities:
  • Been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office. ("Appointed" means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.)
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office.
  • Served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee operating in California.
  • Been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government.
  • Been a registered federal lobbyist.
  • Served as paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff.
  • Contributed $2,500 or more during a calendar year to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office.
Within the past 10 years, has the family member engaged in any of these activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest?*

For each family member you must indicate whether you have a special (bona fide) relationship with that person. You have a special (bona fide) relationship with a family member if during the past 12 months you have (Guidance for determining Conflicts of Interest):

  1. Cohabitated with that person for a period or periods totaling 30 days or more.
  2. Shared with that person ownership of any real or personal property having a total value of $1,000 or more.
  3. Provided to or received from that person a financial benefit totaling $1,000 or more.
Do you have a special relationship with this person based on any of the three factors described?*
Family Member
Brother or Sister in-law: Spouse/RDP of Sibling
Kathy Kennedy
For this family member, you must state whether within the past 10 years this person has engaged in any of the activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest under the Voters FIRST Act. The following is a list of those activities:
  • Been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office. ("Appointed" means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.)
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office.
  • Served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee operating in California.
  • Been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government.
  • Been a registered federal lobbyist.
  • Served as paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff.
  • Contributed $2,500 or more during a calendar year to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office.
Within the past 10 years, has the family member engaged in any of these activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest?*

For each family member you must indicate whether you have a special (bona fide) relationship with that person. You have a special (bona fide) relationship with a family member if during the past 12 months you have (Guidance for determining Conflicts of Interest):

  1. Cohabitated with that person for a period or periods totaling 30 days or more.
  2. Shared with that person ownership of any real or personal property having a total value of $1,000 or more.
  3. Provided to or received from that person a financial benefit totaling $1,000 or more.
Do you have a special relationship with this person based on any of the three factors described?*
Family Member
Brother or Sister in-law: Sibling of Spouse/RDP
Charlyn Tucker Bonk
For this family member, you must state whether within the past 10 years this person has engaged in any of the activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest under the Voters FIRST Act. The following is a list of those activities:
  • Been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office. ("Appointed" means appointed by the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization, or served at the pleasure of the Governor, a member of the Legislature, or a member of the State Board of Equalization.)
  • Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or the campaign committee of a candidate for a California congressional or elective state office.
  • Served as an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee operating in California.
  • Been a lobbyist registered with the State of California or a California local government.
  • Been a registered federal lobbyist.
  • Served as paid California congressional, legislative, or State Board of Equalization staff.
  • Contributed $2,500 or more during a calendar year to any California congressional, state, or local candidate for elective public office.
Within the past 10 years, has the family member engaged in any of these activities that could cause you to have a conflict of interest?*

Mr. Tucker has been estranged from his sister for three decades or more.

For each family member you must indicate whether you have a special (bona fide) relationship with that person. You have a special (bona fide) relationship with a family member if during the past 12 months you have (Guidance for determining Conflicts of Interest):

  1. Cohabitated with that person for a period or periods totaling 30 days or more.
  2. Shared with that person ownership of any real or personal property having a total value of $1,000 or more.
  3. Provided to or received from that person a financial benefit totaling $1,000 or more.
Do you have a special relationship with this person based on any of the three factors described?*

Other Relevant Material

I recognize that my profile is far from typical, but I hope that you will find my broad background, generic skills, and commitment to impartiality and a professional redistricting process compelling.

I have worked in the field of international electoral assistance since 1990, first with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems at their Washington, DC headquarters, and since 2000 primarily with the United Nations System. The UN's electoral work is episodic, requiring intense dedication during periods of months or years alternating with periods where the need for senior experts is minimal. While I could have simply indicated that I was self-employed for the entire period since 2000, I felt that it would provide a more comprehensive understanding of my background if I were to set out each assignment separately.

Since starting with the United Nations in 2000, I have also been invited by other leading organizations in the field of international electoral assistance (Carter Center, IFES, International IDEA, Conflict Dynamics International) to undertake a variety of projects for them.
These outside consulting projects keep my skills sharp between UN assignments. I also devote time between UN contracts to community engagement, such as attending events organized by the Future of California Elections network and the California Association of Clerks and Recorders, ongoing education, and other activities that give me the energy and tools to go back into the field and work under intense and sometimes dangerous conditions. Breaks between UN contracts are also an opportunity to catch up on home projects and professional reading, brief and confer with colleagues at headquarters, apply for future contracts, and take care of medical clearances and other travel preparations.

Part 4: Letters of Recommendation

An applicant must submit, or arrange for the submission of, three letters of recommendation from individuals or organizations. A letter of recommendation may be no longer than three pages. Guidance for letters of recommendation. (Note: Any additional recommendations may be submitted as a public comment and public comments are considered by the Applicant Review Panel. However, a public comment submitted about you will not count as a letter of recommendation.)

An applicant's letters of recommendation must be submitted to the California State Auditor's Office (State Auditor's Office) on or before October 20, 2019. All three letters of recommendation must include your applicant identification number, which is 3710. This identification number is unique to your application and ensures that all of your letters of recommendation are correctly attached to your application file before they are reviewed by the Applicant Review Panel.

Online Submission of Letters of Recommendation

We have provided three links for you to provide to the individuals who will be submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. Each link may be used for only one letter and will expire upon that letter's submission. Remember to communicate to the individuals writing your letters of recommendation that their letters must include your applicant identification number, as provided above.

Submission of Letters of Recommendation via E-mail, Facsimile, Mail, or Common Carrier

Online submission of letters of recommendation is preferred. You may also submit letters of recommendation via email to shapecaliforniasfuture@auditor.ca.gov, by facsimile to (888) 694-5288, or by U.S. Mail or other common carrier mailed to the address provided below. All letters of recommendation submitted via email, facsimile, U.S. Mail, or other common carrier must include both your application identification number (3710) and the letter of recommendation number (1, 2, or 3). Letters of recommendation sent to the State Auditor's Office that are not received or postmarked by October 20, 2019, will not be considered, and the applicant will not continue on in the application process.

The letters of recommendation must be addressed to the Applicant Review Panel and can be mailed to:

Applicant Review Panel
c/o California State Auditor's Office
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, California, 95814

Part 5: Financial Disclosure Form

If likely to be selected for an interview, you will be required to submit FPPC Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests. The Fair Political Practices Commission's website has more information about the FPPC Form 700. You do not need to submit that form now. You will receive an email at a later date if you will be required to submit this form.

Part 6: PRIVACY NOTIFICATION AND WAIVER

LEGAL AUTHORITY AND REASON FOR COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

The Voters FIRST Act (Act) and the regulations implementing the Act require that the selection of commissioners for the Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) be open to public scrutiny and the press (California Constitution, Article XXI, section 2, subdivision (c); Government Code sections 8252, 11120, 11121, and 11125.1; California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 60835, 60836, 60842, and 60846). The Act also requires the California State Auditor's Office (State Auditor's Office) to select 60 of the most qualified applicants based upon their voter affiliation; eligibility to serve pursuant to Article XXI of the California Constitution; the absence of any conflicts of interest; relevant analytical skills; ability to be impartial; appreciation for California's diverse demographics and geography; and racial, ethnic, geographic, gender, and economic diversity. To determine each applicant's identity and qualifications to serve on the Commission and to track the demographic information of the applicant pool, this application seeks personal information about applicants that will be provided to the Applicant Review Panel, State Auditor's Office staff, and the public, including members of the press, the Legislature, and the Commission.

CONSEQUENCE OF NOT PROVIDING ALL REQUESTED INFORMATION

Failure to provide all of the requested information will result in your disqualification and the removal of your name from the applicant pool. Thus, if you wish to serve on the Commission, it is mandatory that you submit a response for each item of information requested.

PERMISSION TO USE AND RELEASE PERSONAL INFORMATION

By submitting this application, you acknowledge that the application, all documents submitted in support of your application, including a Statement of Economic Interests (FPPC Form 700) if you are asked to submit one, letters of recommendation, materials generated as a result of any State Auditor's Office or Applicant Review Panel investigation of you, and all public comments and responses to public comments about your application are public records. You agree that the State Auditor's Office shall provide copies of these materials to members of the public and the press, members and staff of the Applicant Review Panel, State Auditor's Office staff, the Legislature, the Commission, and as otherwise compelled by law. You understand that members of the Applicant Review Panel and the public may make public statements about you. You authorize the State Auditor's Office to use the information submitted by and about you as the State Auditor's Office deems necessary to select commissioners, replacement commissioners, or otherwise comply with its legal duties. You also authorize the State Auditor's Office to post all materials related to your application to serve on the Commission on its website and any website authorized by the State Auditor's Office.

VOLUNTARY WAIVER OF PRIVACY RIGHTS AND STATE AUDITOR'S OFFICE LIABILITY

By applying to be a commissioner, you are waiving your privacy and other rights under various state and federal laws including, but not limited to, the Information Practices Act (Cal. Civil Code section 1798 et seq.), and any defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligence claim you may have against the State Auditor's Office and those acting on its behalf. Accordingly, by waiving your privacy rights, you are agreeing to permit the State Auditor's Office to release any and all information submitted by or about you, EXCEPT that the State Auditor's Office will not post on the Internet your date of birth; physical, mailing, and email addresses (excluding the city and county); telephone numbers; the addresses and telephone numbers of your immediate family members; or any materials that the State Auditor's Office deems offensive. At this point in the process, the State Auditor's Office will not collect, and you should not voluntarily submit to the State Auditor's Office, your social security number, driver's license number, financial account numbers, or health information. By submitting your application, you acknowledge and consent to the release of the information you and others are providing related to you and, except as specifically provided above, you are waiving your right to privacy regarding all information relating to you and your application to serve as a commissioner. This waiver authorizes the State Auditor's Office to make public information submitted by or about you for a period of 12 years from the date of your application, even if you are not selected as a commissioner. You are providing this waiver voluntarily, understanding that the State Auditor's Office shall not be legally liable as a result of the release of information submitted by or about you or as the result of comments made about you by others, and that the State Auditor's Office will post on its website or otherwise release publicly. This includes claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, and any other statutory or common law claims.

WHOM TO CONTACT

You have a right to review personal information the State Auditor's Office maintains about you and to verify its accuracy. Please contact the State Auditor's Office's Information Privacy Officer at (916) 445-0255; 621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200, Sacramento, California, 95814; if you would like to view or obtain information about the location of your records and the categories of persons who use the information in your records.

Affirmation

I affirm, by entering my initials in the box, that the statements contained in this application are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and that I have read and understand the Privacy Notification and Waiver.

JRK
10/20/2019 8:55:43PM

Amendments

Amendment 540

Submitted On: 10/20/2019

Reason:

Requested address change.

Change:

Address change request submitted and approved.

Former Residence
Palm Springs, 92262
Riverside
31 Dec 2004
1 Sept 2019

Amendment 1017

Submitted On: 02/20/2020

Reason:

Recent contracts

Change:

Carter Center Election Observation Mission to Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Employment History
10/28/2019
12/31/2019
The Carter Center
Senior Electoral Expert, Carter Center observation mission in Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Okmulgee, Oklahoma
2 months

* Review legal framework for elections and electoral procedures in order to provide feedback to tribal officials on areas of improvement to ensure greater compliance with international standards
* Represent the Carter Center in meetings with government officials, the Election Commission, candidates, other stakeholders

Amendment 1018

Submitted On: 02/20/2020

Reason:

Recent Contracts

Change:

Carter Center Mission to Liberia

Employment History
01/24/2020
02/09/2020
The Carter Center
Consultant
< 1 month

* Review proposals for election reform from key stakeholders and advise them as needed on steps to advance positive reforms
* Provide recommendations as necessary to advance democratic and electoral processes

Amendment 1028

Submitted On: 04/01/2020

Reason:

Requested address change.

Change:

Address change request submitted and approved.

Former Residence
Desert Hot Springs, 92240
Riverside
1 Sept. 2019
31 March 2020

Letters of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation #1, submitted by Michael D. Boda

How Submitter Knows Applicant: See Attached Letter

Letter of Recommendation #1 (PDF)

Letter of Recommendation #2, submitted by Thomas Gleeson

How Submitter Knows Applicant: Professionally and Personally

Letter of Recommendation:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have known J. Ray Kennedy for more than nearly 15 years. My interactions with Ray have been both professional as well personal. He is a person of depth and integrity. His objectivity is conditioned by his thoroughness, conscientiousness and thoughtfulness. His extensive background and career with the United Nations and coordination elections in developing countries would be an asset to our State. I have complete confidence in Ray's ability to balance external political and societal realities in order to do the right thing for the great good.

I have seen Ray involve himself in the community here in the Coachella Valley and give back in ways ranging from fundraising activities for health education and awareness to building bridges with international delegations wanting to learn more about democracy and how it functions in our community.

Ray's breath of international elections experience and exposure to diverse cultures and societies, would be one of the greatest strengths he could bring to the Citizen's Redistricting Commission. His appreciation and commitment for diversity and giving voice to all citizens would guide him in his efforts on this Commission.

I extend my unyielding support and confidence of Ray and his efforts to continue give back to the community and bring about the greater good in the community. I believe Ray would be an excellent choice for Commission.

Thomas Gleeson

Letter of Recommendation #3, submitted by Debra L. Gish

How Submitter Knows Applicant: Professional Colleague for 30 years

Letter of Recommendation:

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Reference: Dr. Ray Kennedy, Applicant #3710, Candidate for Commissioner, CCRC
From: Debra L. Gish, Managing Director, Gish, Paz & Associates (GPA)

Dear Members of the Applicant Review Panel for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission:
I am writing to provide a professional reference to support Dr. Ray Kennedy's candidacy for a seat on the State of California's 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission. I have known Ray Kennedy in a personal and professional capacity for nearly 30 years, initially in his position as a director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Washington, DC. During my own work as a senior technical advisor to IFES, I've worked with Ray in key aspects of IFES' planning, research, evaluation and assessments of election systems around world.

Serving as USAID's and JICA's Mission Chief for IFES during the internal Peace Process in El Salvador from 1996-1998, I called upon Ray to assist me in leading and guiding our efforts in transforming the country from an oppressed non-participatory society under military dictatorship to blazing its pioneering paths towards democracy via free and fair municipal elections. I have been in several leadership capacities as a senior technical advisor since then, in which I've called upon Ray's expertise as a senior electoral advisor for the United Nations to inform, guide and implement procedures and systems that improve electoral processes -- from voter registration and minority access to integrating crucial anti-corruption policies and transparency laws.

In 2017-2018, I observed Dr. Kennedy's work supporting the establishment of guidelines, policies, and systems for the upcoming referendum on the future political status of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) in Papua New Guinea, where I was concurrently conceiving of the framework to establish the country's first national Secretariat on Gender-based Violence (GBV) for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Department of Justice and Attorney General. Although Ray was in a high-level position, he is very approachable and loves to work directly with the people.

I have also been a resident of both south (Los Angeles) and central (Visalia) California from 1985 until recently. I'm very familiar with the diversity of the State's population, including its challenges to be progressive and inclusive against all odds and to ensure access and equitable participation for its citizens. Inclusiveness in voting, including among marginalized populations, is one of Ray's greatest assets and commitments in carrying out free and fair elections.

In my long-term experiences working and collaborating directly with Ray Kennedy, I always emerge a better person, more tolerant of internal obstacles, as well as more knowledgeable. Ray is known by his colleagues and clients as a people person and a trainer's trainer. Whether he's charged with teaching and training local election staff and observers or accountable for administering the elections of a first-time civil government such as Afghanistan or Liberia, he's a huge stickler for details. He cares about small things that can create glitches later if they're overlooked. He does not shun the obvious, and he cares about results. He cares about everyone, especially marginalized members of society, e.g., women, minorities, differently abled, indigenous, LGBTQ. He wants everyone to enjoy access in a fair and timely manner. He goes out of his way to ensure systems and procedures are in place to accomplish this.

Ray is also highly sought after repeatedly by the same countries after he's worked with a country, not only because he has usually achieved excellent results, but also because he's so delightful to work with. I constantly hear his UN colleagues singing his praises, saying he always goes way beyond the call of duty in order to get things done right. He's a perfectionist. He's studious. He's quite tireless in the pursuit of excellence. He's ethical. And his integrity is beyond reproach. I love working with Ray for these reasons.

With the waning quality throughout our US governmental systems, including our election systems, Ray is undoubtedly ready to come back home to help his country after his diverse, multi-faceted experiences around the globe. He will help the California Citizens Redistricting Commission raise the bar, not only for the State of California, but for the entire country. If I sound partial, it's because I am. Ray's a pro!

I've not discussed this position with Ray nor his goals as a Commissioner; but I do know he is aching to help the State of California ensure that every single district in the State of California reflects the objectives of having a Citizens Redistricting Commission. He will work in a professional manner for the people of California, and he will not settle for mediocrity. Citizens need to know that their votes count. Otherwise, they won't bother to vote. Period.

California is currently under much pressure and criticism by some leaders in Washington, DC. The CCRC cannot go wrong by selecting Dr. Ray Kennedy to represent the people of the state as a CCRC commissioner. I highly recommend him for the position without reservation. I am available to discuss this further or to answer any questions that I have not adequately addressed in this letter of reference.

In the meantime, I wish you continued success in all your efforts to ensure that the Commission tasked with redistricting following the 2020 census will go down in the history books for the outstanding quality of its work.

Respectfully yours,
Debra L. Gish

Managing Director
Gish, Paz & Associates
[Redacted]
Lake Alfred, FL 33850 USA
[Redacted]
[Redacted]

Public Comments

Files