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By OC Board Supervisor Lisa Bartlett
When I’m out and about in the district, people often ask me: What exactly is redistricting? So, I thought it would be beneficial to share some information on the redistricting process with the community.
Every 10 years, supervisorial districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. The redistricting process is important to our county and the 5th District, and I highly encourage residents to speak up and voice their opinion. I welcome your input in this process and would very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.
In Orange County, the Board of Supervisors is responsible for drawing supervisorial districts. The process is conducted utilizing U.S. Census data, which is normally released by March 31, 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a delay in the release of the data. The U.S. Census Bureau indicated that the data will be released by September 30, 2021. For the County of Orange, the redistricting process must be completed by December 15, 2021.
State law requires cities and counties to engage communities, including non-English-speaking communities, in the redistricting process by holding hearings and/or workshops and conducting public outreach. The Board of Supervisors will seek input in selecting the next district map for the five supervisorial districts. The public will have an opportunity to share their ideas and suggestions on how district boundaries should be drawn to best represent their respective community. The state has developed mandatory criteria to be used in the drawing of supervisorial district lines. District lines shall be adopted using the following criteria in the following order of priority:
(1) to the extent practicable, supervisorial districts shall be geographically contiguous (each supervisorial district should share a common border with the next),
(2) to the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
(3) to the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division
(4) easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.)
(5) to the extent practicable, and where it does not conflict with the preceding criteria, lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
Throughout the month of August, the county will host public workshops, one in each Supervisorial District, on the redistricting process. Each workshop will include a brief presentation and provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on redistricting.
The workshop for my district will take place on Tuesday, August 3, from 6-8 p.m. in Mission Viejo City Council Chambers, located at 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92691. The workshop will allow for both in-person and virtual attendance. Those watching virtually may submit their comments in advance via email at email@example.com, or by calling and leaving a voicemail at 714.834.6000.
For more information on redistricting, please visit ocgov.com/redistricting.
Lisa Bartlett sits on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, representing the 5th District. She was reelected in 2018.