County of Santa Clara Seeks Applicants for 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission
Applications due June 1. Advisory Commission will conduct public hearings this summer for community input on redrawing supervisorial district boundaries
Santa Clara County, CA—The County of Santa Clara seeks applicants for the 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission to begin the redistricting effort to redraw the County’s five supervisorial district boundaries that occurs after every decennial census. The Board of Supervisors has established the formation of a 15-member commission to hold virtual public hearings and mapping sessions, collect community input, and recommend to the Board updated placement of the supervisorial district boundaries. Applications are due no later than 9 a.m., June 1 and can be completed online.
Every 10 years, the County redraws district boundaries, taking into account population changes reflected in the Census.
“Now is the time for people in our community to participate in a dynamic, exciting public process,” said County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors President Mike Wasserman. “The Advisory Commission members will serve a critical role in gathering community feedback as they develop updated district boundaries and draw mapping that ensures fair representation.”
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 September 30, 2021, which is six months later than the original anticipated date of completion and significantly reduces the timeframe for district map updates.
Taking into consideration the time constraints, the County has developed a six-month redistricting process that includes: appointing advisory commissioners in June and 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.
“Our efforts during the 2020 Census to ensure an accurate count, combined with the process we’ve put in place now for redistricting, will make sure that supervisorial district boundaries are redrawn to best reflect and serve our diverse community,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “While some jurisdictions in our nation try to suppress the vote, we at the County of Santa Clara came up with a clear, transparent mechanism to empower our residents and improve voter representation.”
The Board approved a three-step process to ensure appointment of a diverse 15-member advisory commission that includes:
- Five commissioners, one from each supervisorial district, will be randomly selected from qualified applicants and announced on June 9.
- Five members will be nominated, one by each Supervisor, from the remaining pool of qualified applications from their respective district and appointed by the Board on June 22.
- In July, the 10 commissioners appointed during the first two steps of the process will select the remaining five members, one from each district, from a pool of applicants residing in each supervisorial district.
Individuals interested in serving as a 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commissioner must meet specific qualifications, which include:
- Must be a registered voter in Santa Clara County
- Must not be an elected official of the County, or a family member, staff member, or paid campaign staff of an elected official of the County.
- Must have the ability to serve from June through December 2021 and participate in all meetings of the Commission.
- Must not be a candidate for an elective office of the County or serve as an appointed officer of the County (including service on another board or commission).
- Must possess experience that demonstrates the ability to comprehend and apply the applicable State and Federal legal requirements.
Visit the web site for a full list of the eligibility criteria.
June – 10 commissioners appointed to a 15-member Advisory Redistricting Commission
July – Begin advisory commission meetings and appoint individuals to remaining 5-seats
August/September – Virtual Public Hearings
October – Public mapping sessions to review options for updated supervisorial district boundaries
November 23 – Joint Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors and the Advisory Redistricting Commission
December 15 – Board Adopts new mapping
*This is the current timeline, assuming no further delays in the release of census data or legislative action to extend the deadline.
The schedule of advisory commission meetings and events can be found at https://countyexec.sccgov.org/2021-redistricting-process/2021-redistricting-events.
During the redistricting process, community members will have many opportunities to participate, including:
- Apply to be a member of the 2021 Redistricting Advisory Commission
- Attend and speak at the 2021 Redistricting Advisory Commission’s meetings
- Submit maps electronically with proposed supervisorial district boundaries
- Advocate throughout the process for the district you want or the district map you prefer.
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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: María Leticia Gómez/Laurel Anderson, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]
Posted: May 6, 2021