The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a redistricting ordinance that sets new boundaries for the County’s five supervisorial districts.
The new districts will guide County supervisor elections starting in 2012. The boundaries will be in place through late 2021.
The redistricting ordinance is culmination of a public process that began in January. Over the months, the Board of Supervisors considered direct public testimony and the recommendations of an advisory committee.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisor Greg Cox called it a “long process,” but a job well done.
“I’d like to take a moment to thank all the community representatives who took the time to attend meetings,” Cox said. He also thanked the advisory committee, and County staff.
Most residents will find their districts haven’t changed, but some communities have shifted. For example, La Jolla moves from District 3 to District 4; 4S Ranch and Fairbanks Ranch, formerly in District 5, will now be in District 3. The new map, with all changes, will be available for viewing on the County’s redistricting website later today.
The new boundaries also give District 1 in the South Bay a majority of Latino and black voters for the first time.
Redistricting is done every ten years following a federal Census to balance populations in voting districts. This year the county grew, so the Board of Supervisors needed to divide the region into five districts of equal population of about 619,063 people apiece.
State law charges county supervisors with drawing the new boundaries.
In January, San Diego County Supervisors appointed the five-person Redistricting Advisory Committee to gather public input and recommend proposed redistricting plans. Supporting public participation was a redistricting website that helped people follow the process, view proposed plans, submit their own plans or send a suggestion.
The advisory committee met 14 times, with night meetings in each district. Incorporating public input from the meetings, the website and letters, the committee ultimately forwarded three proposals for the Board to consider.
In late June, the Board agreed unanimously on one of those proposals. But at that June 28 meeting, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial County submitted a brand-new plan for consideration.
Several speakers supporting the ACLU’s plan urged the Board to reshape District 1 so that it included a majority of black and Hispanic voters.
The Board of Supervisors directed staff and County Counsel to evaluate the ACLU plan. At the next meeting, County Counsel told the Board that it would be possible to draw a new map with a majority of black and Latino voters in District 1 that also kept most of the features of the Redistricting Advisory Committee’s proposed plan.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to create such a plan and ultimately adopted it Tuesday.