California Redistricting Commission Considers Recommending Moving Several Cities Into Other Counties

By Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
November 2, 2021 Updated: November 3, 2021

The citizen-led California congressional and legislative redistricting commission is considering recommending maps that could move several Southern California cities into other counties.

During an Oct. 27 meeting of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC), which draws the state’s legislative and congressional districts every ten years based on census data, proposed maps during its Oct. 27 meeting placing southern California assembly districts (pdf), included Rossmoor and Los Alamitos—two Orange County cities—in the Long Beach assembly district.

A congressional district map (pdf) reflected similar changes, moving Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, and Cypress into the Long Beach congressional district.

Both maps and a senate district map (pdf) also proposed that Orange County cities Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, and San Clemente be included in San Diego County’s district.

This year’s maps were expected to change drastically after a decade of population growth, shifting demographics, and the loss of a congressional seat.

The commission’s priority is to evenly distribute the districts based on population “in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians,” according to the CCRC’s website.

While the CCRC’s official draft maps are expected to be released on Nov. 10, the commission started reviewing preliminary “visualization” sketches of legislative and congressional districts last month.

While the “visualization” maps are not official draft proposals, they’re based on hours of public testimony, according to commissioners.

“We do not have any draft maps yet,” Commissioner Sara Sadhwani said during the Oct. 27 meeting. “We are simply thinking about what are the possibilities.”

Some Orange County residents have said they don’t feel their community is a part of Long Beach.

Seal Beach resident Donna McGuire said the 605 freeway “clearly defines” the border between LA County and Orange County, during a call into the CCRC’s Oct. 30 meeting.

McGuire also pointed out that Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, and Cypress share school districts, mutual aid agreements, and first responders with the rest of Orange County.

“Really, those three cities have nothing in common with going over the 605 into Los Angeles County,” McGuire said. “Keep LA County cities together, keep Orange County cities together. These three cities are more like [Orange County] in how we use things.”

Claire, a Cypress resident, said during another call that the three cities share “family values and community culture” with Orange County.

Mari Barke, president of the Orange County Board of Education and longtime Rossmoor resident, echoed those sentiments. Barke’s District 2 includes Rossmoor, Cypress, and Los Alamitos.

“We’re much more engaged with our community south of here than north of here,” Barke told The Epoch Times.

This year’s 14-commissioner CCRC comprises five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents. State auditors selected the first eight members, and the rest of the members were chosen by those eight members.

A spokesperson for the CCRC and the People’s Redistricting Alliance didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.