Redistricting Draft Plans Released
Redistricting has cut Newhall out and parts of unincorporated Placerita Canyon into two, possibly three different districts, at least when it comes to the 25th Congressional District draft maps.
The district, represented by Howard "Buck" McKeon, has also had a portion of Lancaster lopped off while the CRC also did what they indicated they didn’t want to do by crossing county lines, adding part of Ventura County with the cities of Moorpark and Simi Valley.
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Mike Murphy, the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Officer, says they didn’t expect what they saw with today’s map.
“This Congressional district is very different than for example the visioning maps that they put out a week ago, that were respectful of county lines and kept the city of Santa Clarita in a single congressional district. So this map was very much a surprise today,” said Murphy
Bob Hauter, Deputy Chief of Staff for McKeon speculated on the reasons Newhall was taken away.
"The commission is looking to ensure that they have enough minority representation, and for some reason they felt they had to grab voters from this area for a district in the San Fernando Valley. Or the San Fernando Valley didn’t have, the two districts they were trying to create, they didn’t have enough voters. So they came up and added some people from Santa Clarita," Hauter said.
For the City of Santa Clarita there are other troubling issues. The Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district draft maps keep the City of Santa Clarita whole, but not the entire Santa Clarita Valley.
Their primary desire that the city and the valley be kept intact through all districts has fallen short.
Murphy says the city council had submitted a map to the CRC using boundaries established by the One Valley, One Vision joint planning area with Los Angeles County. All of that area is not included in a single district for the State Senate and Assembly.
Murphy says the CRC used municipal boundaries.
“The dividing line on the California Citizens Redistricting Commission maps pretty much follow the very eastern city boundary, just straight down. North to South,” said Murphy.
The draft map of the 38th Assembly District, represented by Cameron Smyth, also stretches from the southern edge of Kern County, does not include the Antelope Valley, keeps the City of Santa Clarita whole and then dips into northern San Fernando Valley.
Smyth was generally happy with the way his district was drawn.
“Certainly the commission has done a much better job than the legislature has done in years past. So on balance it’s fair, but certainly when it comes to Santa Clarita there could be some tweaks,” Smyth said.
The town of Castaic will now join Smyth’s Assembly district. Their previous Assemblyman Jeff Gorell has swapped Castaic for a large section of Oxnard and the coastal area between Port Hueneme down through Point Mugu.
Gorell, a freshman representative, was elected in November but was mobilized by the Navy and shipped to Afghanistan in March. His Communications Director Douglas Lorenz admitted Gorell hadn’t the time to do anything “spectacular” for Castaic yet.
When asked if this was a situation of “Castaic, We Hardly Knew Ye,” Lorenz said, “That is the case, but it will now be connected to Santa Clarita. And that’s a good fit too.”
According to draft maps, the 17th State Senate district, represented by Sharon Runner will stretch from the southern edge of desert Kern County to the shoreline of Malibu. The City of Santa Clarita will now be in the same Senate District alongside Westlake Village and Topanga.
Runner who was on the Senate floor debating the budget said she didn’t have time to look at the map thoroughly but said, “I encourage the public to review the draft maps and make their feelings known to the Redistricting Commission.”
The CRC will hold more public meetings in June and July, however, none in Santa Clarita.
Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15th.
For your own look at the CRC draft maps click here.