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Marin spared major changes to the redistricting process


The statewide redistricting will leave Marin’s constituencies for Congress, State Senate and State Assembly largely intact.

“There have been some minor changes,” said the state’s Citizen Redistricting Commissioner Pedro Toledo. “But I think the North Shore districts were the only ones that didn’t change much, which is unusual considering everything that had to change across the state.”

The first concerns arose when draft maps surfaced that would have drastically changed the 2nd Congressional District and altered parts of the state’s 2nd Senate District and 10th Assembly District.

The final maps that the independent state redistricting commission approved on December 20.

Toledo said drawing congressional districts was a tightrope act.

Due to slowing population growth, California lost one of its 53 seats in the US House this year. This meant that all districts had to expand to ensure an equal distribution of population between districts. There couldn’t be more than one person difference between the districts.

“Small changes in one part of the state meant big changes in other parts of the state,” Toledo said.

Another complicating factor was that population growth in North Shore counties such as Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity lagged counties in the Bay Area and other parts of the state, a he declared. This meant that these counties had to be joined with more populated areas.

The 2nd Congressional District, which is represented by Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and the 2nd State Senate District, which is represented by Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, comprise a number of these coast counties north with Marin and parts of Sonoma County.

An early draft map that caused consternation would have moved Marin County into a new congressional district, grouping it with Napa, Solano and Yolo counties. A later draft map would have created a new congressional district containing Marin, Lake, and Napa counties as well as a slice of Solano County.

There were also draft maps that would have altered the Marin State Senate and Assembly districts. One map would have placed western Marin in a North Shore district and most of Marin in a separate Sonoma-Marin Assembly district that would have included all of Santa Rosa.

Toledo said the commission is also considering consolidating Marin and North Shore counties with part of San Francisco to attract additional population.

“I kept writing and calling and saying no, no, no, you can’t do that,” said Dotty LeMieux of San Rafael, an environmental lawyer and campaign consultant.

LeMieux said keeping the North Coast counties together is vital because they share common environmental interests, such as opposing offshore drilling and protecting the natural flow of rivers to preserve salmon fishing.

“Right now we have good representatives in Congress,” LeMieux said.

Huffman is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife.

Toledo said not everyone in the more rural North Shore counties wanted to share a district with Marin. He said on the final day of the commission’s debate, a Del Norte County group made a bid to move him from the 2nd Congressional District to the 1st Congressional District, which is made up of interior counties.

The move was promoted by Max Steiner, a Democrat from Chico who is running to unseat Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, who represents the 1st District, LeMieux said.

Paul Cohen, chairman of Marin’s Democratic Party and a prominent local political consultant, said: “Ultimately, the idea of ​​a coastal district connected by Highway 101 and the Eel River watershed won out. .”

Cohen said the changes to the state’s 2nd congressional district and 2nd senate district were minimal. In the case of the Congressional District, a northwest corner of Santa Rosa was added to increase the district’s population.

The population of the state’s Senate district was also increased by adding Petaluma and the small community of Penngrove while removing some voters from the Valley of the Moon and Glen Ellen areas.

Cohen said changes to the 10th Assembly District, which is represented by Marc Levine, D-Greenbrae, were more substantial. The district was renumbered and is now the 12th district.

Rohnert Park was added to the new 12th arrondissement, but the neighborhood lost Sevastopol and included less of Santa Rosa.

Cohen said the district boundary change means Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Rogers, who was talked about as a potential candidate for the Assembly seat in the June 7 state primary, will not be eligible. unless he moves.

Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly, California Coastal Commission member Sara Aminzadeh, and Steve Schwartz, an entrepreneur who lives in Sebastopol, announced nominations for the assembly seat. Levine is giving up the chance for a sixth and final term in the Legislative Assembly to run for state insurance commissioner.

Bill Kier of San Rafael, science adviser at the Fisheries Resources Institute, who helped rally opposition to the proposed map that would have excluded Huffman from his own district, said: “There have been a lot of problems with the congressional district, but at the end of the day they left it 99% the same. All’s well That ends well.”