Redistricting Commission Sends Draft Maps to Board of Supervisors

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Public hearing set for Tuesday, November 9

Oct. 29, 2021
Redwood City –
An advisory commission tasked with studying potential changes to the boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts voted Thursday to send two proposed maps to the Board of Supervisors.

The two maps were selected from among about 30 proposals considered by the 2021 Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission. The Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, to review the commission’s recommendations and to consider additional public testimony and input.

The work to redraw the boundaries of the supervisorial districts takes place every 10 years, after the U.S. Census Bureau publishes updated census information. The Board of Supervisors, based on recommendations from local chapters of the League of Women Voters, appointed the 15-member volunteer commission to engage in a months-long public process to gather public input.

Thursday’s selection of two draft maps to forward to the Board of Supervisors came during the commission’s 10th meeting. More than 200 comments from the public were submitted in person, online, through social media, or by mail.

“What we have been a witness to here in San Mateo County is the antidote to the idea that people are not interested in participating in local issues,” said Commission Chair Jim Lawrence of Foster City. “The very opposite is true. We have seen tremendous involvement in this very fundamental part of democracy.”

While the five districts must be substantially balanced in population, key requirements under state and federal law for districts also include:

► Compliance with federal and state equal voting rights
► Drawing districts that are, as much as possible, geographically contiguous
► Keeping communities of interest intact, as much as possible
► Keeping cities intact, as much as possible
► Having easily identifiable boundaries (major highways, railways, streets, rivers, mountains), as much as possible

Based on the 2020 Census, each district must contain about 153,083 people.

Draft Maps for Consideration
Following a five-hour public hearing, the advisory commission voted to send two draft maps for consideration by the Board of Supervisors. These are labelled by the authors and are available at the embedded links:

► Unity Map, submitted by a coalition led by Thrive, an alliance of local nonprofit agencies.

► Commissioner Espinoza Map, submitted by Advisory Commissioner Rudy Espinoza of Redwood City.

A map of current districts can be found here. Residents can find their current district on a look-up tool here.

All commission agendas, draft maps and other information can be found at smcdistrictlines.org. A playlist of all commission meetings can be found on the County’s YouTube channel.

Next Steps
The community is invited to comment on the draft maps and to submit additional ideas and testimony during the Board of Supervisors’ Nov. 9, 2021 public hearing. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. The agenda will be posted here.

The Board will also hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, and additional hearings as needed. The Board is required by law to adopt a final map by Dec. 15, 2021.

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