Santa Clarita City Council members aren’t completely pleased with the way the California Citizens Redistricting Commission carved up the valley in their draft maps released last Friday.
“I don’t know, somebody got crazy with the crayon,” Mayor Pro Tem Laurie Ender said.
The goal of keeping the Santa Clarita Valley and the City of Santa Clarita whole was generally met by the CRC, however, the 25th Congressional draft map removed Newhall from the district.
“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.
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One problem, as McLean expressed it, is that the bulb will 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.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, California must redraw the boundaries of its state Senate, Assembly, Board of Equalization and Congressional districts, to reflect the new population data. In the past, those boundary lines were drawn by members of the California Legislature; now are being drawn by the new Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Ender suggested sending another letter to the CRC, first thanking them for supporting the city’s wishes with regard to the state Senate and Assembly districts, but asking them to look again at the Congressional district.
“We’ve done this before, but I would like to just do it again because it’s really a bizarre map that they came up with,” Ender said.
McLean suggested more than just a letter might be needed. She urged residents to visit the CRC website and communicate their desires.
The mayor received a small chuckle from the audience when she made an observation about the CRC.
“Apparently, they didn’t realize that there’s a complete mountain range separating our valley from the San Fernando Valley,” Mayor McLean said.
The CRC will hold more public meetings in June and July, however, none in Santa Clarita.
The nearest meeting will be held at Oxnard College, Performing Arts Building, 4000 South Rose Avenue, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15th.
To view the website Mayor McLean was referring to, click here.