El Dorado supervisors to hold special redistricting meeting

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting Thursday, Oct. 14, to discuss redistricting an possibly provide staff with direction regarding map alternatives.

The United States Constitution requires a count every 10 years of everyone residing in the United States. Census data is used for geographically defining state legislative districts in the year following a census. At the conclusion of each Census process, the county must conduct a process to analyze population data in order to redraw district boundaries to ensure that districts are substantially equal in population as required by the Constitution and in compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The county must consider the following factors in order of priority:

• Geographic contiguity

• Geographic integrity of any local neighborhood or local communities of interest.

• Geographic integrity of any cities or census-designated places.

• Easily identifiable and understandable districts bound by natural and artificial barriers, including streets and boundaries of the county when practicable.

• Encouraging geographical compactness so that nearby areas of population are not bypassed in favor of more distant populations.

The Elections Code also specifies that the board shall not adopt supervisorial district boundaries for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against a political party. Additional criteria can be considered, as long as they are not in conflict with or outweigh the criteria required by the state and federal laws.

In order to meet these requirements, the county undergoes a process to redistrict following the conclusion of each Census. Before adopting new boundaries, the board must hold at least four public hearings or public workshops at which the public can provide input on the composition of the Districts.

In accordance with California Elections Code Sec. 21507.1:

• At least one public hearing shall be held before the board draws draft maps of the proposed supervisorial district boundaries.

• At least two public hearings shall be held after the board has drawn a draft map or maps of the proposed supervisorial district boundaries.

• At least one public hearing or public workshop shall be held on a Saturday, on a Sunday, or after 6 p.m. on a weekday Monday through Friday.

• Public hearing buildings shall be accessible to persons with disabilities.

The county’s redistricting webpage provides information about this process, including ways to participate, the date and time of the public workshops, videos and minutes from past meetings, and a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Four draft maps have also been added to the website for the consideration of the public.

The date, time, and access information for the workshop is being provided by the agenda and on the redistricting webpage more than five days before the hearing or workshop. Public testimony in writing is encouraged, and public comment will take place as part of the workshop. In accordance with California Elections Code Sec. 21508: Residents, including those in underrepresented communities and non-English speaking communities, are encouraged to participate in the redistricting public review process.

The workshop will be recorded and the recording will be available to the public on the webpage within two weeks after the public workshop. This is the third in a series of public workshops to inform the community and to receive public input on the redistricting process. The first occurred on June 4 and the second on Aug. 4.

One more workshop is scheduled at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, via Zoom and with an in-person option, COVID-19 restrictions permitting. Following these meetings, the Board of Supervisors will choose a map alternative in order to adopt new boundaries by the statutory deadline.

Source: El Dorado County

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