County Redistricting Workshop Slated For Wednesday

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–The Board of Supervisors will conduct its third public meeting on the 2011 Redistricting of supervisorial districts on Wednesday, July 20, at 2 p.m. in the Covington Chambers of the County Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino.

Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, the board reviews, and if necessary, redraws the boundaries of the five supervisorial districts to ensure that each has approximately the same number of residents, and that they comply with other criteria.

The 2010 Census shows the county has 2,035,210 residents, therefore each district should ideally contain 407,042 residents. The current First District exceeds that ideal by 58,496 and the Second District exceeds it by 22,955. The current Fourth District is 40,556 below the ideal, while the Third and Fifth districts are respectively 22,535 and 18,360 below.

On Wednesday, the public will again have an opportunity to address the Board on how the districts should be redrawn, and the Board will have the opportunity to provide direction that will lead to the development of a proposed redistricting plan.

Members of the Board of Supervisors have encouraged the public to become involved in the process. The public is also encouraged to visit for information about the process, data on the current districts and city populations, and examples of plans that meet redistricting criteria. The site also includes the one plan that has been submitted to the county for consideration, which was prepared by students at San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino.

The site includes a space for the public to make suggestions about redistricting, and a link to a special e-mail address to which the public can submit actual redistricting proposals. The public can also “subscribe” to the website and receive e-mail updates when new information is placed on the site.

The Board of Supervisors has adopted criteria that will guide the county through the redistricting process:

* Districts must be configured so that they are reasonably equal in total population based on data from the 2010 federal census, with deviations as close to zero as possible. In no event should the total deviation between the largest and the smallest district exceed three percent (3%).

* District borders shall be drawn in a manner that complies with Section 2 of the Federal Voting Rights Act.

* Each district shall consist of contiguous territory and be as compact as possible given the total criteria.

* Each district shall respect communities of interest to the degree possible given the total criteria.

* District borders shall follow visible natural and man-made geographical and topographical features to the degree possible given the total criteria.

* Each new district shall preserve the corresponding existing district’s population and territory to the degree possible given the total criteria.

* It is understood that districts known to be areas of higher-than-average population growth in the years following redistricting may become under-populated over time.

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