The 6th District and Redistricting

Just read today’s IJ Reader’s Forum. A Peter Van Meter of Sausalito opines that “Lines should make sense:”

IJ columnists Dick Spotswood and Richard Rubin are spot-on with their April 10 commentary on redistricting.

It is essential that the Golden Gate be the southwestern boundary of all districts for our North Coast representatives, both in Congress and in Sacramento. If done right, Lynn Woolsey’s 6th Congressional District will grow from covering all of Marin and most of Sonoma counties, to include all of both plus a small part of Mendocino County.

Of equal importance is fixing the 3rd State Senate District that now includes Marin, half of Sonoma and incredibly, half of San Francisco.

It violates all redistricting rules by splitting counties and gerrymandering together disparate neighborhoods while leaping across the bay.

It probably even violates the Voting Rights Act by diluting the influence of San Francisco’s minority communities.

Luckily, an easy solution is at hand. Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt counties have a perfect population to comprise a new state Senate district. It would maintain the North Coast’s historic community of interest while fully respecting county lines.

The best way to assure that the Golden Gate is not crossed is to let the Citizens Redistricting Commission know your thoughts at its hearing in Santa Rosa on May 20.

I completely agree that the Golden Gate should be the southwestern boundary for District 6 (or whatever number is designated by the Citizens Redistricting Commission). With a total population, according to the 2010 Census, of 37,253,956, California will create 53 congressional districts with 702,905 persons in each. With a population of 805,235, San Francisco County’s overflow of slightly more than 100,000 can be channeled south in union with part of San Mateo County. Ideally, wherever possible, counties should be left whole. Marin County, having only 252,409 residents, should be intact in the new 6th District. Sonoma County, with a population of 483,878, cannot be wholly joined to Marin because the total district population would be 736,287. Mr. Van Meter suggests adding on in Sonoma County and tacking on part of Mendocino County could formulate the rest of the district. Problem is, Mr. Van Meter is incorrect in his calculations when he suggests that a new District 6 could include all of both Marin and Sonoma Counties and a little of Mendocino too. That would exceed the 702,905 limit per district (which, as I was recently reminded, may only have a deviation of one person plus or minus) . A suggestion that is workable would connect everything in Sonoma county except 33,382 residents in the south of the county to a district that is basically currently coastline District 1 now, and then form  District 6 from all of Marin, that 33,382 of Sonoma, all of Napa County and part of Solano.

What ideas do you have for how the new congressional and other political districts should be drawn? As Mr. Van Meter notes, you can attend the Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting on May 20 and present your thoughts.

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About district6voter

A concerned Northern California citizen who believes Representative Lynn Woolsey ought to be replaced in November, 2010.
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2 Responses to The 6th District and Redistricting

  1. Jim Judd says:

    One thought would to push Marin County and an appropriate number of San Francisco to equal the required number of represented. The balance of San Francisco can move south to San Mateo County. Marin County would not suffer in representation and in fact may benefit by it because of their close financial ties and life styles.
    On the other side Sonoma County would be better off without Marin County manipulating Sonoma County in the political area. I’ve always viewed Marin County as the tail wagging the dog of Sonoma County. It’s time to jettison the Marin County political baggage and get a more balanced political approach to our representation.

    • I agree that Sonoma County could be well served in a district that doesn’t include Marin County. I do have reservations about pairing Marin with S.F. though because it would divide S.F. more than need be, and S.F. alone is a natural COI (community of interest) in my view. But since S.F. has too many people to be entirely included in one district, maybe your suggestion is one that should be tried.

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