ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Chamber of Commerce met Tuesday, May 4 with a member of the state Citizens Redistricting Commission to explain the process of redistricting and raise awareness of what lies ahead.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, city councils, school boards and other public agencies that use the district voting system redraw their boundaries to balance the district populations and reflect demographic changes.
Escondido uses a seven-member Independent Redistricting Commission for this process. Three retired judges appointed the commission’s members based on racial, geographic, social and ethnic diversity in November 2020.
Robert Case, Carolyn Clemens, Amy Dao Doan, Kristy Jurgensen, Xochitl Reyes, Mariela Saldana and Karin MacDonald were selected for the commission.
Patricia Sinay, from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, said during the meeting that Escondido is currently in its public awareness phase of redistricting.
In November, after the census is released, the commission will post its first draft map, followed by the second draft map in December, Sinay said.
James Rowten, of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, told The Coast News that the final redistricting is anticipated to take place in March 2022.
“It’s important so that communities that are truly one aren’t separated by representation because in essence, communities who want to try to have a voice or be heard, need one representative,” Rowten said. “If they have one representative, they speak as a whole body, which gives a larger representation. Then you can do the things that you’d like to be able to do and be able to try to get the attention of areas that need support or help.”
The Escondido City Council will hear and file an update on the redistricting process at its May 19 meeting.
Council members will hear a detailed presentation on where the redistricting process stands and its projected timeline.
According to a staff report, “Each redistricting plan shall provide fair and effective representation for all citizens of the City, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities, and shall be in conformance with the requirements of the United States and California Constitutions, and with federal and state statutes.”
During this public outreach phase, Escondido residents are encouraged to provide input about their communities by attending one of the commission’s public hearings or by reaching out to the commission directly at https://www.escondido.org/independent-districting.aspx
The next Independent Redistricting Commission meeting will be on Thursday, May 13.