The Marin Post

The Voice of the Community

Blog Post

Dotty LeMieux

Why Redistricting is Important to You


Redistricting hearings are happening right now. The next hearing for Marin County is July 17. Why should you care? Because if we don't speak up, there is a danger of Marin County being joined with San Francisco or even the East Bay for purposes of who our State Senators and/or Congresspeople will be for at least the next ten years.

Prior to 2011, Marin was represented by someone from San Francisco in the State Senate. Because our County and San Francisco (and a slice of Sonoma) were put into the same District, we never had a chance to elect anyone from Marin or anywhere else on the North Coast.

All that changed in 2011, when the new Redistricting Commission took over and listened to what we, the people, wanted. Hearings were well attended and the Commissioners learned that people from all political parties and walks of life wanted to keep the north coast counties together. Today we have a State Senator from Sonoma and both an Assembly member and Congress member from Marin.

All that can change again. The Commission has created what they call Outreach Zones. Marin finds itself in Zone C along with SF, the South Bay, Santa Clara County, the East Bay and Solano, the so-called "Bay Area."

Sonoma has been lumped into Zone A with all the Counties to the north, plus Napa, Lake and Trinity.

If this configuration continues, Marin will end up in a District that not only crosses the Bay to the south or the east, but leaves it all but powerless to elect a local representative for at least the next ten years, until the next redistricting occurs.

So far, the hearings are completely unpublicized, even though they have been going on for months. Some of us have started to show up and speak up, however, advocating for our North Coast District to remain as is, as much as possible. (All Districts must be of similar population size.)

The Commission says these "Outreach Zones" are for gathering information only for the purpose of creating "communities of interest." But the fact that Sonoma county is left out of the Bay Area, and they do not seem to understand that Marin is part of the North Bay, is alarming.

Hearings will be held throughout the summer and fall.

Please go to www.wedrawthelines.org to find out more: dates and times of hearings, how to testify, send in comments, and even draw the map you want to see. Plan to attend (via zoom) the July 17th hearing and speak "in person" or by phone.

So far, these meetings have been sparsely attended, as very few people know about them We are trying to change that. Go to our Facebook page and join our effort at Uniquely North Bay.