New maps would put Richmond in new federal, state districts
on June 10, 2011
A California citizens’ commission proposed new political district boundaries for the 2012 elections for the state Legislature and Congress that likely would have Richmond represented in Washington and Sacramento by a new cast of characters.
On Friday, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released its first round of draft maps for Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate and Board of Equalization districts.
The 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission was established by voters under Proposition 11 in 2008 in response to gerrymandering, drawing boundaries for political advantage, by lawmakers.
The goal is to pave the way for more moderate politicians and ease the partisan gridlock that has plagued the state for years.
The new map, if approved by nine of the 14 members by later this summer, would mean big changes for Richmond, which would gain a new congressional representative and lose a state senator.
The redistricting also could influence the outcome of future elections by mixing in new voting blocs with Richmond voters.
On the new map, Richmond’s state senate representation undergoes a drastic change.
The 7th District, represented by State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek), moves east and south, losing the slice of East Richmond voters who occupy that area. (View the current 7th District here)
That area of Richmond will now be united with the rest of the city in being represented within State Senator Loni Hancock’s (D-Oakland) 9th District.
Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez), a longtime House member who has represented Richmond, gives up most of his Richmond constituency in the new map, as his 7th District cedes coastal territory to the 9th District, represented by seven-term Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland).
California’s Assembly District 14, represented by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D–Berkeley), pulls its eastern boundary in toward the bay, becoming more coastal while drifting farther north. (View District 14’s current boundaries here)
The new District 14 now encompasses Hercules and Pinole while losing Lafayette and Orinda.
The proposed maps would shift Richmond’s political position to the west and south, away from inland Contra Costa County and more aligned with East Bay communities like Berkeley and Oakland.
A final version of the maps should be decided by the commission by Aug. 15.
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