Commission recommends boundaries for city council areas
The Santa Barbara Independent Redistricting Commission has chosen a district map that will be recommended to the city.
The map features updated boundaries for the districts, which elect members of the Santa Barbara City Council.
At its meeting Wednesday, the three-judge panel unanimously picked the DEC Community of Interest Plan. It has a total population deviation of 7.4%.
Under this map, District 1 is focused on the Eastside community but does have a presence on State Street and East Beach, including the Funk Zone. District 2 includes the Mesa and keeps all of West Beach. That district extends east of Modoc Road.
District 3 includes the Westside as well as La Cumbre Junior High School and the Westside Neighborhood Center.
District 4 includes a small coastal presence and is centered on the Riviera. District 5 also has a small coastal presence but remains largely in the upper State Street area and includes the airport.
District 6 includes the downtown area without crossing the freeway.
District 1 has a Latino citizen voting-age population (CVAP) of 50.4% whereas District 3 has a Latino CVAP of 43.4%. The minority CVAP for District 3 is 50%.
Population deviation refers to the difference in population sizes among districts. The current district map for Santa Barbara has a population deviation of nearly 20%, much higher than the 10% threshold deemed to be constitutional, according to demographer Daniel Phillips.
Judge Elizabeth Allen White first nominated the map as the plan to be recommended to the city, saying it “seems to address all the factors we need to look at.”
“It’s geographically contiguous, there is an undivided community of interest, there are easily identifiable boundaries, it’s compact and in compliance with Banales,” Judge White said, referring to a stipulated judgment that says the intent should include two electoral districts where Latinos make up a majority of the eligible voters.
“We’re minimizing the shifting of voters between districts,” Judge White continued. “We’re taking into account future population growth. We’re preserving the core of existing districts, and I think we’re there.”
Both judges Abraham Khan and Melinda Johnson, the chair of the commission, agreed and voted in favor of the map — making it a unanimous decision.
Councilmember Kristen Sneddon praised the commission during Wednesday’s meeting, noting the daunting task the three had to undertake.
“I think you have pulled off the impossible. You’ve listened to the community, you’ve made adjustments at every meeting, you’ve kept neighborhoods together,” Councilmember Sneddon said. “Really in a city where you might not have been that familiar, you’ve become so familiar and listened to our concerns.”
The map will be recommended to the city clerk, who will put it before the city council.
Those interested can find the final maps as well as the submitted map at santabarbaraca.gov/gov/brdcomm/dm/irc/agendas.asp.