Board of Supervisors Appoints First 10 Members to 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission

Advisory Commission meetings begin this summer for community input on mapping of new supervisorial district boundaries

Santa Clara County, CA— The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors officially appointed the first 10 members of the 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission today. This is the next step to establish new supervisorial district boundaries and have them in place by the end of the year. The last five seats on the 15-member commission will be filled by the already appointed commissioners once the meetings begin in July.

“We’re excited to appoint these talented members of our community to the Advisory Redistricting Commission,” said County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors President Mike Wasserman. “Fair and equal representation is a pillar of our democracy. This Commission is tasked with the critical responsibility of drawing maps that ensure we abide by the principle of one person, one vote.” 

The commissioners formally approved today by the Board of Supervisors, including two from each District, are:

  • Seat 1: Cynthia Cooper, District 1
  • Seat 2: Bob Staedler, District 2
  • Seat 3: Mario Burnias, District 3
  • Seat 4: Juan Pedro Velazquez, District 4
  • Seat 5: Dana Tom, District 5
  • Seat 6: Dolores Alvarado, District 1
  • Seat 7: Peter Pham, District 2
  • Seat 8: Nancy Smith, District 3
  • Seat 9: Laura McAllister, District 4
  • Seat 10: Katie Zoglin, District 5

Five commissioners (Seats 1-5) were chosen on June 9 and selected randomly from applicants who submitted an application and met the eligibility criteria. The second group of five commissioners (Seats 6-10) were selected by each Board member to represent the five supervisorial districts. In July, these 10 commissioners will select the remaining five members from a pool of applicants residing in each supervisorial district.

The Advisory Commission members will gather community feedback to develop updated district boundaries and draw maps that ensure fair representation. The Board of Supervisors has established the formation of a 15-member commission to hold public hearings and mapping sessions, collect community input, and recommend to the Board updated placement of the supervisorial district boundaries. 

“Redistricting will be inclusive and representative of all members of our community,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “Public input is a vital piece of this process. While the 15-member commission will be tasked with submitting the final maps to be voted on by the Board, we encourage everyone to participate in the process.”

Every 10 years, the County redraws district boundaries to consider population changes reflected in the U.S. Census. Under California law, redistricting must maximize equal representation (one person, one vote), align district populations to within 10,000 of each other, and avoid gerrymandering. District boundaries must take into consideration topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguousness, compactness of territory, and communities of interest.

Commission Meetings

Commission meetings will be held virtually every two weeks from 6:30-8:30 p.m., beginning July 7. In October, meetings will occur weekly. The public is invited to participate and comment. The commission will also hold public hearings, mapping sessions, and a joint meeting with the Board of Supervisors in the fall.

The commission is scheduled to meet on:

  • July 7, July 21
  • Aug. 4, Aug. 18
  • Sept. 1, Sept. 15, and Sept. 29
  • Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Oct. 20, and Oct. 27

Get Involved

Community members can participate in the redistricting process. Residents will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend and speak at the 2021 Redistricting Advisory Commission’s meetings
  • Complete a Community of Interest Form to tell us about your community
  • Submit maps electronically with proposed supervisorial district boundaries
  • Advocate for the district they want or the district map they prefer
  • Participate in the Joint Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors and the Advisory Redistricting Commission
  • Participate in the December Board of Supervisors meeting when the new maps are adopted

Go to www.sccgov.org/2021redistricting for more information and to follow the redistricting process.

Background

The redistricting process framework, approved by the Board on April 6, takes into consideration unusual time constraints faced during this decennial census. The U.S. Census Bureau is expected to finish processing 2020 Census data by Sept. 30, 2021, which is six months later than the original anticipated date of completion and significantly reduces the timeframe for district map updates.

The County developed a six-month redistricting process that includes appointing advisory commissioners in July; holding commission meetings beginning in July; scheduling public hearings and mapping sessions in August through October; and conducting Board review and approval in December. Per state law, redistricting must be completed no later than December 15, and be in place before the next election cycle, so that candidates and voters know in which district they reside.

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ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. combined. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

Visit the County of Santa Clara at: https://www.sccgov.org
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Media Contact: Laurel Anderson/Matthew Rudig, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]

Posted: June 22, 2021

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