For Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, Board of Equalization districts; changes will affect who represents Contra Costa.
The draft State Senate district maps split Contra Costa into three districts, placing Brentwood with communities as far away as Rohnert Park, Calistoga and Dunigan.
More public input encouraged.
SACRAMENTO, CA—On Wednesday, the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission released draft maps for the state’s Congressional, State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts ahead of the CA Supreme Court mandated November 15, 2021 deadline.
“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.”
A major consideration in redrawing the Congressional districts was the fact that California lost a seat in the decennial reapportionment due to population shifts away from the state. That reduces the delegation in the House of Representatives from 53 to 52. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, across the country, the Golden State was joined by Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in losing one Congressional seat each. Oregon, Montana, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida each gained one seat, while Texas gained two Congressional seats.
Impacts to Contra Costa County Districts
The draft maps show Contra Costa County split in just two Congressional districts compared to four, currently. The draft State Senate district maps split Contra Costa into three districts, with Far East County cities and communities of Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Byron, Bethel Island and Knightsen included with all of Solano and Yolo Counties and portions of Sacramento, Napa and even Sonoma County communities as far away as Rohnert Park, Calistoga and Dunigan. The draft State Assembly districts map split the county into four districts, with Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo, Crockett and Port Costa included in the same district as Solano County.
According to an SFGate.com news report, “In the Bay Area…Contra Costa County has been the biggest source of complaints…some…Antioch residents have complained about African American neighborhoods being split up, while residents south of them in the Tri-Valley area are annoyed that San Ramon and Dublin were kept in separate congressional districts.”
Using the multitude of communities of interest testimony the Commission received throughout the summer, they assessed how that testimony could potentially inform district boundaries considering the tradeoffs that needed to be made in eventual maps. The Commission produced three sets of visualizations (October 27-29, November 2-4, November 7-9) that incorporated additional public input to evolve into draft maps.
Draft maps can be found here and below.
Approved Draft Maps
- 11.10.21 Congressional Draft Map
- 11.10.21 Congressional Shape Files
- 11.10.21 Congressional Equivalency Files
- 11.10.21 State Senate Draft Map
- 11.10.21 State Senate Shape Files
- 11.10.21 State Senate Equivalency Files
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
- 11.10.21 Board of Equalization Draft Map
- 11.10.21 Board of Equalization Shape Files
- 11.10.21 Board of Equalization Equivalency Files
We encourage the public to provide feedback using this form.
Public comment shall be taken for at least 14 days from the date of public display of the first preliminary statewide (draft) maps of the Congressional, State Senatorial, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. The Commission shall not display any other map for public comment during the 14-day period.
Draft Map Public Input Meeting Schedule
November 17, 2021—Congressional District Feedback
November 18, 2021—Assembly District Feedback
November 19, 2021—Senate District Feedback
November 20, 2021—Board of Equalization & Any District Feedback
November 22, 2021—Any District Feedback
November 23, 2021—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.
In addition, 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.
For more information, please visit www.WeDrawTheLinesCA.org.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.