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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 1st, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 22, Issue 40

Santa Barbara County Independent Redistricting Commission narrows down redistricting to five maps

By Taylor O'Connor

After hearing public comment from more than 150 people both online and in person, the Santa Barbara County Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission selected five maps—408B, 801C, 818, 821B, and 822—at its Nov. 22 meeting to move forward in the redistricting process. 

Daniel Phillips from the National Demographics Corporation began the meeting by breaking down the 10 finalist supervisor district maps, which commissioners chose at the previous meeting, into sub-categories, finding map similarities, and highlighting the corporation’s recommendations. 

“Guadalupe and Isla Vista seem to be the two hinge points, as they are currently the twin anchors of the 3rd District that cuts across the county,” Phillips said during his presentation. “The 10 focus plans are divided into groups according to which part of the county each plan decides to join with Guadalupe [and Isla Vista].” 


MAP
This is the current Santa Barbara County district map. After Dec. 8, this map will change to one of the five maps selected; visit www.drawsantabarbaracounty.org to see the five maps.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

After poring over more than 100 map options, the commission selected 10 maps (that differ from the county’s current district boundaries) to consolidate the 3rd District—currently stretching from Guadalupe to Goleta—as well as keep communities of interest in mind—such as Latino and Indigenous populations, renters, UCSB students, and residents in the foothills—so they can gain stronger representation at a county level. 

The first subgroup of maps—focusing on Guadalupe—had seven plans that joined the city with Santa Maria, two plans that joined it with Orcutt, and one plan that joined Guadalupe with Isla Vista.  

The second subgroup—Isla Vista-focused—had three plans joining Isla Vista with Santa Barbara, six plans that joined it with Lompoc, and one plan that joined the city with Guadalupe. 

In the maps that joined Guadalupe and Santa Maria, the National Demographics Corporation highlighted map 821B: a map that follows natural ridge lines as borders, has a population deviation of 2.7 percent, and 68 percent of the voting-age population is Latino. 

“The Lompoc Valley is kept together in District 3, Central Santa Maria in District 5—it’s split places but you could argue the splits are minimal to what they could be,” Phillips said. “We recommend this one because it seems to follow the [redistricting] criteria better.” 

In the plans that linked Isla Vista to Lompoc, Phillips selected map 801C because of its low population deviation of 5 percent, and a Latino voting-age population of 68 percent. 

“District 1 and two boundaries follow those of Santa Barbara neighborhoods. … Central Lompoc is kept together in District 3, the valley is divided. Vandenberg is kept together in District 4,” Phillips said. 

Maps 408B and 822 connected Guadalupe with Orcutt, and both plans link Isla Vista with Santa Barbara—a problem addressed by public commenters because of the combination of renters and homeowners in these two areas. 

Map 822 has a lower population deviation, keeps the Santa Ynez Valley whole in District 3, splits off parts of Lompoc from the bulk of the city, and the Lompoc Valley is divided between Districts 3 and 4, but Vandenberg is kept whole. 

“It might divide Santa Maria and Guadalupe communities of interest,” Phillips added. 

Fifth District Commissioner Glenn Morris said he was pleased to see such strong public participation. 

“There are 10 maps open for comment; we have been averaging about 40 to 50 people per night, with eight to 10 in the chambers. Tonight there’s 196 [total] with 25 sitting here tonight. I want to applaud that, because people are still engaged,” Morris said. 

Commissioners are allowed to make edits on the final five maps to present at the Dec. 2 meeting. The meeting following that will be Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. in Santa Barbara where the commission will identify a single preferred map, and map adoption will take place on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. All of the maps can be viewed on drawsantabarbaracounty.org










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