Santa Barbara County’s independent redistricting committee, created by a ballot initiative, has unanimously approved a final map, but believe me, there was plenty of drama along the way!
That drama included a last-minute furtive attempt by one commissioner (Megan Turley) to forward a radical map, never before seen by the public, into the final round. Fortunately, due to immense outcry, that map was jettisoned. The final map determines the boundaries of the five county supervisorial districts that is not without some controversy.
Truth be told, most people don’t know who their county supervisor is, what district they live in or why it matters! This lack of knowledge actually led to manifold concerns that had absolutely nothing to do with county government. Hundreds of people participated in the process, many of whom were political activists. Nevertheless, the end result is better than would be the case if the supervisors had drawn the boundaries of their own districts.
The biggest win for the North County? Isla Vista and UCSB are finally relegated to vote in a south county district (2nd District) where they belong. Gone are the days wherein IV and UCSB completely dominated the swing district (the 3rd District) by way of a super concentration of extremely naive political lemmings who never lived here long enough to suffer the consequences of their political machinations.
There were four commissioners on the committee who nearly died on this hill, that is, trying to keep IV and UCSB in a North County district, but thankfully, they were outvoted.
The most disturbing and troublesome result of the process is the “Rios Grande” 5th District, aptly named by yours truly, after commissioner Jannet Rios. The newly delineated 5th district, which comprises parts of Santa Maria and all of Guadalupe, was drawn in such a way as to “pack” (a technical term) the district with as many Latinos as was possible, a whopping 83%. Hence, the neighboring 4th District will be robbed of its own significant Latino concentration of voters that would otherwise be the case.
The Rios Grande district was ultimately the handiwork of the radical Latino/farmworker activist organizations CAUSE and MICOP whose sole intention is to elect a woke Latino activist to represent this district in 2022 by way of a divide and conquer mentality.
That is, the racist, class warfare rhetoric used to justify the boundaries of this district was appalling. These activists completely reject the notions of E pluribus unum and the melting pot, two characteristics that made America what it is today.
CAUSE, MICOP and Rios, plainly stated they did not want any “nice neighborhoods”, presumably composed of “wealthy,” read that white people, residing in “their” Latino district. Similar socio-economic arguments were made in the South County, whereby they objected to having wealthy Hope Ranch in the same district as Isla Vista.
Drawing maps on the exclusive basis of race is actually illegal. Nonetheless, the leftie consultants the commission hired to advise them assured the commissioners they were on the right track!
Politically speaking, there are no absolute guarantees that either conservatives or liberals can now win either the 3rd District (consisting of Santa Ynez Valley, the city of Lompoc and portions of Goleta) or the 5th District offices, which means the redistricting commission overall came up with a reasonable map, despite their packing effort.
The 4th District (Orcutt, along with “white” Santa Maria and the unincorporated parts of the Lompoc Valley) will be held by conservatives.
The 1st District (Carpinteria, Montecito and parts of Santa Barbara) and the 2nd District (IV, UCSB, Hope Ranch and the waterfront portions of SB) will be held by liberals, with the notation that the 2nd District could become even more extreme liberal due to the IV/UCSB influence.
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.