On the eve of Independence Day, the City of Santa Clarita viewed revised redistricting maps from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission that gave the city independence from Malibu – at least in terms of the California State Senate District 17.
“Malibu did not want to be lumped with us either. There’s no community of interest there,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean.
According to draft maps released on June 10, the 17th State Senate district, represented by Sharon Runner would have stretched from the southern edge of desert Kern County to the shoreline of Malibu.
“They took out Malibu and I believe they included Simi Valley and portions of Thousand Oaks, which we have more in common with and they have much more in common with us,” McLean said.
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While Santa Clarita lost the surf they gained valuable turf – Newhall.
Draft maps had removed Newhall from the 25th Congressional District, a region Mayor McLean referred to as a “bulb”.
“What they did was they essentially took the oldest portion and the most historical portion of our city and made a line through Newhall south of Lyons Avenue, clear to the freeway, and put it into a San Fernando Valley congressional district. It’s like a little bulb,” Mayor McLean said.
One problem, as McLean expressed it, is that the bulb would be poorly represented.
“We are just a tiny portion of that whole district. I cannot imagine us having much representation because we’re just a small, little tiny portion and they’re not going to travel all the way out here. It would be nice if they did, but that is a huge problem,” Mayor Mclean said.
At least now the city knows how many redistricting commissioners it takes to change a bulb back into the City of Santa Clarita.
“It seems that they took into consideration communities of interest. They took into consideration the fact that many, many, many of our residents made sure that they got their opinions heard and requested what would be best for Santa Clarita which is keeping the city whole in all of its districts,” McLean said.
The Mayor remains hopeful that the revised maps will remain the same.
“If they stick to these maps we’re very happy,” McLean said.
According to Rob Wilcox, Communications Director for the CRC, these revised maps are only visualizations and the 2nd drafts won’t be officially released until July 14.
“The working visualizations are created by the line drawers under certain direction from the commissioners,” Wilcox said.
That direction is based on the criteria under the law and on public testimony.
When told of the City of Santa Clarita’s satisfaction with the visualization and the cautious optimism espoused by officials, Wilcox would only say “Stay tuned.”
Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15, 2011.
The new district lines will impact the 2012 through 2020 election cycles.
The working visualizations can be viewed by clicking here.