Local representation at the state level could shift based on proposed redistricting maps that would divide Monterey Bay.
The new maps, released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, would split the 29th Assembly District currently overseen by Mark Stone. The northern reaches of Santa Cruz County, including the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, the North Coast and the San Lorenzo Valley would be in one district. And Capitola, Live Oak and Rio Del Mar would be in a new district that includes coastal cities as far south as Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
The Capitola City Council discussed the proposed maps at a special meeting on Nov. 18. Councilwoman Kristen Petersen said the maps would place Capitola with jurisdictions that face different challenges and concerns than the small coastal city, a move that could pit Capitola’s interests against larger cities.
“When the districts are that big geographically, that means our representatives have a lot more geographic space to consider,” said Peterson. “When it comes to which cities need funding and which cities need their attention, a small city like Capitola will be at a disadvantage.”
Every 10 years, jurisdiction at the local, state and federal levels are redrawn based on census data so that each district has roughly the same population and say in legislation that could affect its residents. The U.S. Congressional, State Senate and State Assembly districts are all currently being redrawn. Originally, Santa Cruz was separated from Monterey Bay’s congressional and state senate districts, but that was rectified on the maps released on Nov. 10.
“Santa Cruz City and Capitola, being in the same county, face a lot of similar issues, and we work to ensure the preservation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” said Peterson. “We have a great history of working together to address these with our state senators and assembly members and congressional representatives.”
At the special meeting, the Capitola City Council voted to send a letter asking the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw the Assembly districts. The Santa Cruz City Council will be voting to approve a similar letter in opposition to the draft maps at its council meeting this week.
Certification of the new maps is due Dec. 27.