The Santa Clarita City Council will take up the topic of redistricting at their regularly scheduled meeting April 26 with the goal of expressing the city’s position at upcoming Citizens Redistricting Commission hearings.
Following a meeting of the Legislative Committee with city staff yesterday, a redistricting item was added to the council agenda.
Mike Murphy, the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Officer, was at the meeting and explained the council’s concerns that redistricting adhere to two important tenets of the CRC’s own criteria:
- Respect counties, cities and communities of interest, and neighborhoods where possible.
- Draw districts to be compact where practicable.
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“Santa Clarita is not large enough to be its own district and will have to be coupled with another population area,” Murphy said.
The legislative commitee’s recommendation to the Council is to have the Santa Clarita population be combined with that of the Antelope Valley. Murphy believes sharing the 14 Freeway and falling into the same Metropolitan Transportation Authority district makes the two regions a like-minded “community of interest.”
Murphy says Santa Clarita could also be combined with the communities of Granada Hills, Chatsworth and Northridge.
The City Council meeting is expected to provide direction to the council and staff on their testimony at the upcoming CRC public hearings in San Fernando and the Antelope Valley.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, California must redraw the boundaries of its Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, to reflect the new population data. In the past, those boundary lines were drawn by members of the California Legislature; now they will be drawn by a new Citizens Redistricting Commission.
California voters authorized the creation of this commission when they passed the FIRST Act (Proposition 11) on the November 2008 general election ballot.
The first round of draft maps will be released in June. Final district maps must be certified by the Commission and presented to the Secretary of State by August 15, 2011.
If you are interested in attending, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission will hold a public input meeting 2-5 p.m., Saturday, April 30 in the Council Chambers of San Fernando City Hall, 117 Macneil Street.
A second public input meeting will take place in Lancaster on Sunday May 1, from 2-5 at the Sierra Toyota Antelope Valley Room, 43301 12th Street West.