The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission released draft maps on Nov. 10 around 7 p.m. for the state’s congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts. San Benito County is part of major changes in the various districts.
In the Congressional district, San Benito County is placed with parts of Monterey County (Gonzalez, Green Field, King City) and parts of Santa Clara County (Alum Rock, San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy).
In the Senate district, the county is included with parts of Monterey County (Salinas, Chualar, King City), parts of Merced County (Madera, Chowchilla) and parts of Fresno County (parts of Fresno, Sanger, Riverdale).
In the Assembly district, San Benito County is included with parts of Monterey County (Salinas, Gonzalez, King City), parts of Santa Cruz County (Rio Del Mar, Watsonville) and south Santa Clara (Gilroy, San Martin).
In the Board of Equalization district, San Benito County is transferred from the District 2 (majority of the coast side of California from Santa Barbara to Del Norte County, which borders Oregon) to the District 1 (from the valley to counties bordering Nevada and Oregon).
Draft maps can be found here.
“We are finally here. We proudly present these draft maps to the people of California as a starting point for public discussion. These are not intended to be final maps and we strongly encourage Californians to continue weighing in until we get it right,” stated Commission Chair Trena Turner. “A global pandemic and delayed census data would not stop this commission from delivering on its promise to create maps that encourage fair representation. We will have final maps completed and certified by the December 27, 2021 deadline. There is still plenty of time for the public to get involved. We urge you to join us because everything is on the lines.”
The public can provide feedback using this form.
The CCRC said public comment shall be taken at least 14 days from the date of public display of the first preliminary statewide draft maps for the various district. The commission will also hold the following input meetings:
Nov.17—Congressional district feedback
Nov.18—Assembly district feedback
Nov. 19—Senate district feedback
Nov. 20—Board of Equalization & any district feedback
Nov. 22—Any district feedback
Nov. 23—Any district feedback
Public input meeting appointments can be made here.
In accordance with the California Constitution, the commission followed these criteria, in this order, to draw district maps:
- Districts must be of equal population to comply with the U.S. Constitution.
- Districts must comply with the Voting Rights Act to ensure that minorities have an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.
- Districts must be drawn contiguously, so that all parts of the district are connected to each other.
- Districts must minimize the division of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities of interest to the extent possible.
- Districts should be geographically compact: such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for a more distant population. This requirement refers to density, not shape. Census blocks cannot be split.
- Where practicable each Senate District should be comprised of two complete and adjacent Assembly Districts, and Board of Equalization districts should be comprised of 10 complete and adjacent State Senate Districts.
CCRC said the place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate may not be considered in the creation of a map, and districts may not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.
Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.
In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.