The Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission of Santa Barbara made a few final changes to their selected map before the Dec. 15 deadline.
Months of meetings and hours of public comment led to the penultimate Wednesday meeting with a nearly complete draft, but there was still work to be done.
The commission voted 10-1 to make small changes, mainly centered around the city limits in Districts Four and Five.
Commissioner Jannet Rios, who was born and raised in Santa Maria, recognized concerns about the boundaries in the Four Corners area at the intersection of Broadway and Main Street.
Mrs. Rios told the News-Press this amendment was, “based off my own lived experience in Santa Maria.”
The commissioner mentioned several landmarks like the library and Allan Hancock College concluding, “All of those pieces are the heart and soul of Santa Maria. Considering we were keeping most of Santa Maria in District Five, it made sense.”
As a response to this, part of northeastern Santa Maria will move from District Five to District Four, using Highway 101 as a boundary.
Other than the Santa Maria city limits, the commission also agreed to shift the District One and District Two boundaries by State Route 154 to consolidate more of the local watershed.
After these minor changes, public comment suggested an overall satisfaction with the hard-earned redistricting map.
“What’s most important is the fact that the community is satisfied with the results of the map. If the public is happy, I’m happy,” Mrs. Rios told the News-Press. “That makes me feel confident in the work that the commission has done.”
The commission is scheduled for a final Zoom meeting to adopt the map on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The virtual meeting can be found at https://zoom.us/j/96627818457 with the meeting ID: 966 2781 8457.
Mrs. Rios urged people to attend this final meeting to celebrate the historic redistricting process.
“We still encourage folks to come out,” Mrs. Rios told the News-Press. “We have one last Zoom meeting, this isn’t over yet.”