Commission set to adopt map at tonight’s meeting
The culmination of a year-long project took place in the Santa Barbara County Engineering Building, where 114 maps drawn by citizens finally became one.
The county Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission chose its preferred map after a nine-hour meeting and is set to formally adopt it during tonight’s hearing at 6 in the Planning Commission Room, 123 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.
The final map splits the county into five districts based on the population changes documented in the 2020 U.S. Census.
“We are very grateful for the citizens who have engaged with the process and provided input and testimony,” Commission Chair Glenn Morris told the News-Press.
After dozens of hearings with public comment, the commission cut, combined and edited nearly 100 maps until they landed on three focus maps. The commission continued to make even more modifications and agreed upon a single preferred map, which was informed by all three focus maps.
The commission’s preferred interactive map can be viewed at ndcresearch.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=5b153f8500ba4199a2df0ea30ac63095&extent=-121.0883,34.2783,-118.9790,35.0936.
Mr. Morris explained to the News-Press how influential the public was to the creation of this final map.
“The commissioners had absorbed ideas and themes from public comment and wanted to create a final map that pulled together as many good ideas as possible,” Mr. Morris said. “We made adjustments in the boundaries to keep neighborhoods and communities of interest whole.”
“They did a really good job, and I congratulate them,” 41-year resident Denice Spangler Adams told the News-Press. “Everybody’s thrilled that UCSB is in District 2 where it belongs.”
Despite the commission making noteworthy progress, the map is still open to discussion and public comment during the meeting tonight.
“Depending on what we hear, there may or may not be some minor last minute adjustments,” Mr. Morris told the News-Press. “I don’t think they’ll be substantial.”
Mrs. Adams and other citizens involved are seeing this process through to the end with the commission.
“We will be there to hold them accountable,” Mrs. Adams said.
Mr. Morris explained that the final documents need to be submitted to the county clerk and elections official by Dec. 15, and the commission is at the finish line.
“Whether it was showing up and providing public comment or drawing one of the 114 maps, the intent was to ensure that the people of the county had a voice in the process,” Mr. Morris said. “We’ve been really pleased with the number of people who have been thoughtful and engaged. Congratulations to the people of the county.”