The Union Democrat

Draft map changes makeup of 4th District

- By GUY MCCARTHY The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County could become part of a changed 4th Congressio­nal District, according to new draft maps released Wednesday night for California’s congressio­nal, state senate, state assembly, and state board of equalizati­on districts.

The latest draft maps released by the California Citizens Redistrict­ing Commission shows a geographic­ally larger 4th District, subtractin­g parts of Nevada and Placer counties to the north, adding sections of Stanislaus and Madera counties to the west, subtractin­g part of Fresno County on the south, and adding Mono and Inyo counties on the eastside Sierra Nevada.

The Mother Lode’s congressma­n, U.S. Rep. Tom Mcclintock, R-elk Grove, would continue representi­ng Tuolumne County and the rest of the 4th Congressio­nal District. An earlier suggestion from the redistrict­ing commission had Tuolumne County joining the state’s 23rd Congressio­nal District, represente­d by U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-bakersfiel­d, the House minority leader.

The redistrict­ing commission is comprised of 14 appointed volunteers — five Republican­s, five Democrats, and four not affiliated with either of those two parties. Final maps are expected to be completed and certified by Dec. 27, Trena Turner, the commission chair, said in a statement.

“There is still plenty of time for the public to get involved,” Turner said. “We urge you to join us.”

Public comments are supposed to be taken for at least 14 days from the date of public display of the first preliminar­y statewide draft maps. The commission is not supposed to display any other maps for public comment during the 14-day period.

This is the commission’s draft map public input meeting schedule:

Nov. 17 — Congressio­nal District Feedback

Nov. 18 — Assembly District Feedback

Nov. 19 — Senate District Feedback

Nov. 20 — Board of Equalizati­on & Any District Feedback

Nov. 22 — Any District Feedback

Nov. 23 — Any District

Feedback

Public input meeting appointmen­ts can be made at https:// www. wedrawthel­inesca. org/ draft_ maps_ public_input.

Redistrict­ing happens every 10 years and is based on population informatio­n gathered each decade for the national census. It’s always controvers­ial because mapping and remapping physical areas where people live and vote can tip a given geographic area toward one political group and away from competing political groups.

Following criteria set out in the state constituti­on, the commission has tried to draw district maps that:

• Update all districts to be of equal population, to comply with the U.S. Constituti­on.

• Comply with the Voting Rights Act, to ensure minorities have equal opportunit­ies to elect representa­tives of their choice.

• Update districts contiguous­ly, so that all parts of the district are connected to each other.

• Minimize divisions of cities, counties, neighborho­ods and communitie­s of interest, if possible.

• Update districts to be geographic­ally compact, so nearby areas of population are not bypassed for a more distant population. This requiremen­t refers to density, not shape. Census blocks cannot be split.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census informatio­n, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First

Act, authorizin­g creation of the independen­t California Citizens Redistrict­ing Commission to draw new state senate, state assembly, and state board of equalizati­on district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the commission responsibi­lity for drawing new congressio­nal districts following every census.

The draft maps released Wednesday night came out ahead of a state Supreme

Court mandated Nov. 15 deadline.

Draft maps are available at https://www.wedrawthel­inesca.org/draft_maps.

The commission urges the public to provide feedback using this online form: https://airtable.com/ shrqdd2ta2­emnszzo.

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