Draft state Senate, Assembly maps released by 2020 California commission

The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission has released the draft maps to set the political boundaries and representation of the state senate and assembly for the next 10 years

CALIFORNIA – The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission released draft maps for state senate and assembly seats Nov. 10, marking the midway point through the process of defining state political representation for the next decade.

In the state assembly, Tulare County is currently split between two districts: the 26th District, currently represented by Devon Mathis (R-Porterville), which encompasses most of Tulare County, and the 23rd District, currently represented by Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), which grabs the northeastern edge of the county with Three Rivers.

Under the draft state assembly map, Tulare County would again be split into two districts, but with a significantly different orientation. The proposed map would split Visalia and Tulare into different districts, also splitting Goshen between the two.

Tulare would be in the 505,368 population Kings-Tulare district, lumped in with Lindsay, Porterville, Woodlake, Dinuba and many of the unincorporated areas in south and north Tulare County. The district would include the Kings County cities of Hanford, Lemoore, Kettleman City and Avenal.

The proposed Kings-Tulare district’s latino-citizen voting age population (CVAP) is 57.23%, but that comes with a significant caveat within the context of Tulare County. As Lori Pesante of the Dolores Huerta Foundation illustrated in her pitch to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors during their redistricting process, the block of primarily white, wealthier voters in northeastern Tulare has historically outvoted the entirety of their poorer, hispanic south county counterparts, wielding political power over them at the supervisor level in Tulare County.

Visalia and most of Goshen would be in the smaller, 476,792 population Tulare-Kern District, which as proposed has a much lower latino CVAP at 27.29% and the white CVAP at 63.21%. The draft Tulare-Kern district encompases Exeter, Three Rivers and all of the mountain areas of Tulare County, and swings down into Kern County, scooping up into Shafter north of Bakersfield.

In the state senate, Tulare County is currently represented in three districts: District 8 carving out Three Rivers and much of Tulare County’s mountain communities, currently held by Andreas Borgeas; District 16, which bundles Visalia, Tulare and Exeter in with Bakersfield and the southern Sequoia mountain communities, currently held by Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield); and District 14, its northernmost point in Fresno, swooping down through Hanford, Porterville and all the way into the Bakersfield area, currently held by Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger).

The draft state senate map would consolidate Tulare County to two districts, similarly splitting Visalia and Tulare into different districts.

The Kings-Kern state senate district—at a population of 994,983 and 58.06% latino-CVAP—from a Tulare County perspective looks very similar to its assembly counterpart, but pokes further south past Shafter and into Bakersfield. Tulare is in with Lindsay and Porterville, and west into Kings County past Hanford and out to Avenal.

The Fresno-Kern state senate district sports a low 27.47% latino-CVAP and a majority white-CVAP at 59.10%. The 978,937 population district grabs Visalia out of the middle of Tulare County and spans from east Fresno through the Sequoia mountain communities, down through Tehachapi, around west to Taft and into the northern Bakersfield area.

The commission considers the following criteria when considering redistricting maps:

  • Districts must be of equal population to comply with the US Constitution.
  • Districts must comply with the Voting Rights Act to ensure that minorities have an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.
  • Districts must be contiguous so that all parts of the district are connected to each other.
  • Districts must respect the boundaries of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities of Interest, and minimize their division, to the extent possible.
  • Districts should be geographically compact, that is, have a fairly regular shape.
  • Where practicable each Senate District should be comprised of two complete and adjacent Assembly Districts and Board of Equalization districts shall be composed of 10 complete and adjacent State Senate Districts.
  • Districts shall not be drawn to favor or discriminate against an incumbent, candidate, or political party.

The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission is made up of fourteen Californians: five Republicans, five Democrats and four members with no party preference. To learn more about the commissioners, visit www.wedrawthelinesca.org.

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