Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Analysis: Antioch School Board should scrap the maps for redistricting at Wednesday meeting

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Proposed Antioch School Board Trustee Areas Redistricting Map Scenario 2A. Source: AUSD

All 3 gerrymandered to protect incumbents, except for one trustee; very few changes from 2019 map based on 2010 Census with 13,400 fewer residents

Board should start over and allow more public input with online mapping tool

By Allen Payton

Official Notice

Subject: Post Census Redistricting

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 (During the Regular Board of Education Meeting)

Time: Open Session 7:00 p.m.

Location: Deer Valley High School Theater 4700 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA 94531

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Governing Board of the Antioch Unified School District will hold a public hearing during its Regular Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, to receive community feedback regarding post census redistricting. To ensure Trustee Areas are in compliance with Education Code 5019.5, the District must review and potentially adjust its electoral map. This hearing will provide the AUSD Board of Education an opportunity to review initial draft scenarios adjusting the boundaries for trustee areas and to accept feedback from the community regarding the proposed changes. Proposed maps can be viewed at https://www.antiochschools.net/domain/3540.

Proposed Antioch School Board Trustee Areas Redistricting Map Scenario1. Source: AUSD

Analysis

During their next regularly scheduled Antioch School Board meeting tonight, Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Antioch School Board will consider three maps that are very similar to their current map. That’s in spite of a population growth of 13,386 in the district during the decade of 2010 to 2020. The current trustee area map was approved by the board in 2019 based on the 2010 Census. (See related article)

The three proposed maps, drawn by a consultant and labeled Scenario 1, 2 and 3, all show where the current trustees live, which is a political matter and is not a required criteria for the board to consider, based on either federal or state law. The trustee area boundary lines don’t make much sense other than protecting incumbents. The only exception is Trustee Ellie Householder who moved from the current Area 2 to Area 1, last year. The map only uses major roads as boundaries between Areas 1 and 2. For example, both Trustee Mary Rocha barely lives inside Area 5 and Trustee Clyde Lewis, Jr. barely lives inside Area 3.

Plus, the maps don’t respect communities of interest, a basic principle of redistricting, splitting the Mira Vista Hills area south of James Donlon Blvd. into Areas 2 and 4. In addition, the maps don’t primarily use major roads as dividing lines, especially between Areas 3 and 4 and between Areas 2 and 3.

Also, the current map and all three proposed maps unnecessarily have the area bounded by Lone Tree Way, Deer Valley Road and Country Hills Drive, where no one lives, included in Area 4 instead of Area 2 creating a strange shape. That area is one Census Tract and can easily be moved between trustee areas.

Trust areas are legally allowed to have a maximum population deviation from average of 5% or 10% maximum between areas. Scenario 1 has a deviation of 8.3% between trustee areas, Scenario 2 offers a deviation of 1.2% and Scenario 3 has a deviation of 4.0%.

Scrap Proposed Maps, Offer Public Online Mapping Tool

What the board should do is scrap the three proposed consultant’s maps and start over by opening the process to the public – putting we the people in charge of choosing who it is will represent us, not the other way around – and provide an online mapping tool like the Antioch City Council and other cities have done. But the board should use the same tool as on the City of Brentwood’s city council redistricting website, since it’s the easiest to use of those in the county and BART’s that I’ve tried.

What the board and council should have done is form independent citizen redistricting commissions, like both the city councils of Brentwood and Martinez have done, to truly put the process in the hands of the public and take the politics out of it. (See related article)

While the board must have a final map approved by March 1, that gives them the two meetings in February, and if necessary, they could hold a separate redistricting workshop, to consider maps drawn and submitted by the public. They need to direct their redistricting consultant to get the online mapping tool up by Friday.

We shall see if they’re interested in doing what’s best for the people they were elected to represent or what will protect their own political interests.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed in-person or online at https://youtu.be/VFJxu3aBpYw. Public comments can only be made in person at the meeting by completing and submitting a speaker card.

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Analysis: Antioch council to consider narrowing redistricting map choices from 13 to two Tuesday night

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Antioch Redistricting Public Map 508. The Census Tract missing in District 2 is open space and no one lives there, so it doesn’t affect the population figures.

Why is redistricting so important?

Let the people choose their representatives, not the other way around

“It shouldn’t be in the hands of politicians” – Lamar Thorpe

New map doesn’t have to be based on current map; Council should choose maps drawn by members of the public

ThHerald recommends Maps 508 (58 revised), 91 and 95 as best alternatives; consultant should also provide details for all publicly submitted maps

By Allen D. Payton

During their meeting Tuesday night, Jan. 25, 2022, the Antioch City Council will consider narrowing down the number of redistricting maps they will consider to just two from the current map approved in 2018. So far, three maps were created and submitted by the consultant, Q2 Data and Research, based on input from the council members, which made slight adjustments to the current map. Q2 provided details for each of the four council districts showing specific streets in each of Maps A, B and C. In addition, members of the public have drawn and submitted n10 alternative maps but Q2 did not provide the same details for each of the four districts for those maps, numbers 34, 39, 49, 58, 87, 91, 95, 503 and now, 508 which is 58 revised. (See agenda item, here – ACC012522 – Redistricting)

Why Redistricting is So Important

Every 10 years, in the year following the Census when the new population figures are determined, district lines must be redrawn to comply with the spirit of one-person-one-vote as intended by the U.S. Constitution. Redistricting should be based on principles not politics. Redistricting is so important because how the new district boundaries are drawn will determine who can run for office and who the voters will elect to represent them.

Thus, we the people should be in control of redistricting, so we get to choose who represents us, rather than the elected officials choosing who it is they will represent. While it would be best to have no population percentage deviation between districts, as it is with redrawing congressional districts, which are required to have a difference of no more than one person, all other districts are legally allowed a maximum deviation of 5% from average.

“It Shouldn’t Be in the Hands of Politicians”

During the districting process in 2018, then-Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe said, “This is why I hate this process. It shouldn’t be in the hands of politicians.” But neither he nor any other council member proposed forming an independent citizens’ redistricting commission to redraw the council district boundaries, as both Brentwood and Martinez have done. (See related article) So the Antioch Council members will make the decision about their own districts and the public’s opportunity to have a say are during the public hearings on redistricting.

Fortunately, the council had Q2 create a redistricting page on the City’s website, provide an online mapping tool for the public to use to create their own alternative map, and Q2 posted each of the maps for the public to review. Plus, Mayor Thorpe has insisted on having all the maps included in each council discussion, as they were submitted by members of the public. (See Draft Maps and Public Map Submissions on that page)

New Map Doesn’t Have to Be Based on Current Map

At the Council’s Jan. 10th public hearing on redistricting, Karin Mac Donald, owner and Senior Researcher of Q2 said, “there is no law…that says you must start with the districts drawn in the last process.” So, the council can completely scrap the current map, which is based on the 2010 Census figures, and approve a completely new map, which must be based on the 2020 Census population of Antioch which grew by almost 13,000 residents during that time.

Redistricting Principles

During BART’s process, the consultant offered Key Points to Consider in Redistricting, which include:

“Traditional Redistricting Principles – Since decennial redistricting began in the late 1960s, traditional criteria and principles have developed. While the equal population of election districts is the overriding principle there are accompanying goals. In varying degrees, the criteria are compactness, continuity, respect for communities of interest, preserving political subdivisions, and the core of previous districts. All are not of equal weight and all are subordinate to an equal population. Care must be taken not to dilute the voting strength of minorities.

Compactness – Compactness refers to a districts’ geographic shape and how its interior is dispersed within its boundaries. A circle is a perfectly compact shape. In redistricting, the notion of compactness is difficult to evaluate because one begins with irregularly shaped borders and the political subdivisions may be irregular in shape. Geometric measures of compactness are often misleading because geographic features and relationships are more complex than simple geometry. The principle of compactness should be considered functionally and must compete with other criteria.

Continuity – Continuity requires that all parts of a district be connected. Districts can be drawn that are contiguous by way of water or a bridge. While crossing water is allowed it should be minimized as it makes it more difficult to respect communities of interest.

Preserving Political Subdivisions – An attempt should be made to minimize splitting cities and well-defined neighborhoods; and

Respect for Communities of Interest – Communities of interest are subjective and difficult to define. A community of interest has some common thread of shared interest. Those communities can be based on such diverse elements as geography, language, socio-economic-cultural interests, even transportation corridors. Race may be considered, but it may not be the sole reason for drawing a district in a particular manner.”

Use Common Sense, Follow State & Federal Law, No Consideration for Incumbency

Also, according to the BART redistricting process, “new districts should be drawn deliberatively and with common sense. Adherence to traditional redistricting principles and the federal Voting Rights Act will ensure fair and reasonable districts.”

The council must also follow the state’s FAIR MAPS Act when redrawing district boundaries, as Mac Donald pointed out, previously. But the council members do not have to consider to incumbency, in other words, where the current council members live. The Antioch School Board didn’t when they created their first district maps in 2018, resulting in two incumbents living in the same district. The same could occur with the council’s redistricting process when choosing a final map.

Council Should Choose Maps Drawn by Members of the Public

If the Council is going to “whittle it down the number of maps” as suggested by Mac Donald during the Jan. 10th public hearing, they should choose maps submitted by the public in order to reduce both the appearance of political influence and consideration of where incumbents live. Of the nine publicly submitted maps, I recommend that the Council choose among Maps 91, 95 and of course, 58, which I drew and submitted, as finalists.

The online mapping tool for the public only allows the creation of districts using Census Blocks, but the mapping software used by the consultants can be as specific as moving one house between districts. So, if the Council wants to make minor adjustments to any of the publicly submitted maps, Q2 staff can easily accommodate them.

Antioch Redistricting-Public Submission Map #91.

Map 91 Analysis

Map 91 is a combination of the current council districts map and map 58 by connecting all three districts on the south side of Highway 4 to the freeway. However, this map connects District 4 to Highway 4 on the east side of the city, instead. The map also moves the Mira Vista Hills area from District 4 to District 2 which is one reason I like this map, plus the use of major roadways such as Lone Tree Way and Hillcrest Avenue, and the canal as common-sense dividing lines.

While District 4 is less compact than in other maps and looks kind of strange, like a fat seahorse, seated camel or short-necked and legged giraffe, it makes District 3 more compact than it is currently.

CORRECTION: It would be great if the six homes between Hillcrest Avenue and the canal, east of Wildhorse Road could be moved into District 3 instead of District 4, to eliminate the small section that looks like the aforementioned creature’s left ear. But, according to Jane Hood of Q2, Census Tracts cannot be divided and this time, compared to 10 years ago, there are fewer Census Tracts.

While the note beneath Map 91 in the staff report reads, “As drawn this map doesn’t have all census tracts assigned (See District 2)” that’s only the Contra Loma Reservoir in which no resident lives. Since fish don’t yet have the right to vote, adding that census tract won’t change any of the population statistics for that district.

The map also offers one of the lowest population deviations of all the publicly submitted maps. The greatest population deviation in Map 91 is just 1.72% between Districts 1 and 4, which is the least among the three final maps I’m recommending.

Antioch Redistricting-Public Submission Map #95.

Map 95 Analysis

Of all but one of the public submissions, Map 95 significantly changes things from the current map by dividing the area north of Highway 4 between three council districts, numbers 1, 2 and 3, which is what I like best about this map. Although it goes against the argument made during the 2018 districting process that the residents north of Highway 4 wanted to have their own representative on the council, that hasn’t served that part of the city well, nor did it result in the election of a Hispanic council member, which is why the council switched to district elections in the first place, under threat of a lawsuit they were told they couldn’t win.

That’s in spite of the fact there are and/or have been Hispanic elected officials on both the city council and school board. Another fact is, after the school board switched to district elections, Antonio Hernandez was elected in 2020 to represent the current Area 1, which includes portions of both the north and south sides of Highway 4, giving the board two Hispanic trustees. The other, Trustee Mary Rocha, has not yet run in a district election, but lives in Area 5 and whose seat is up in November. (See current Antioch School Board Trustee Area Map)

The comment provided by the creator of Map 95 reads, “It results in three council members representing the waterfront instead of just one. It also serves to more unify the city between older parts and newer parts instead of dividing it like the current districts do with just one district north of Highway 4. It also combines the Mira Vista Hills area south of James Donlon Blvd. with the older areas north of James Donlon Blvd. and the newer area west of Somersville Road which is more of a Community of Interest.”

The move of the Mira Vista Hills area south of James Donlon Blvd. from District 4 to District 2 is another reason I like this map, plus the use of major roadways and the canal as common-sense dividing lines.

The note beneath Map 95 is that below Map 91 and for the same reasons dealing with not including the Contra Loma Reservoir in which no resident lives, unless there’s a secret Navy Submarine base in it that the public is unaware of.

The greatest population deviation in Map 95 is 8.24% between Districts 2 and 3, which is the most among the three finalists I support.

Antioch Redistricting-Public Submission Map #58.

Map 58 Analysis

Except for District 1, Map 58 changes things significantly from the current map, connecting all the three other districts to Highway 4. It makes Districts 2 and 3 more compact and primarily uses the major roads of Lone Tree Way, James Donlon Blvd. and Hillcrest Avenue/Deer Valley Road to separate Districts 2, 3 and 4. As with Map 95 it also moves the Mira Vista Hills area south of James Donlon Blvd. from District 4 into District 2 which makes more sense.

While Map 58, as drawn, divides the homes in the same homeowners’ association along Prewett Ranch Road east of Deer Valley Road, between Districts 3 and 4, up to 992 residents in the older homes on the south side of the street can be moved from District 4 into District 3, and still keep District 3 within the 5% population deviation from average.

CORRECTION: It would be great if the dividing line for Districts 3 and 4 could be between the homes in the newer subdivisions in the Sand Creek area and the homes in the neighborhoods along Prewett Ranch Drive. But that would require splitting up a Census Tract.

The greatest population deviation in Map 58 is currently just 2.91%, also between Districts 2 and 3. However, if the homes on the south side of Prewett Ranch Drive are moved into District 3, the deviation would increase.

Map 508 (58 Revised)

A revised Map 58 was drawn and submitted Monday night, and is labeled #508, did part of that, by moving some homes on the south side of Prewett Ranch Drive east of Deer Valley Road from District 4 into District 3. In addition, Map 508 moves the homes on the south side of James Donlon Blvd. between Lone Tree Way and Tabora Drive, as well as the Contra Loma Reservoir area from District 4 into District 2.

The changes increase the population deviation to 8.75%. But that should be acceptable, as it leaves District 4 with the least current population, which again, is expected to have the greatest population growth with the new homes in the Sand Creek area over the next decade.

Public Hearing Tuesday Night, Jan. 25

The council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. immediately followed by the public hearing on redistricting at 7:05 p.m. and can be viewed in-person in the Council Chambers at 200 H Street and are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream at www.antiochca.gov/government/city-council-meetings.

Public Comments

Members of the public wishing to provide public comment may do so one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar):

  1. Fill out an online speaker card by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting located at: , https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card.
  2. Provide oral public comments during the meeting by clicking the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar: https://www.antiochca.gov/speakers

– You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.

– When the mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: https://www.antiochca.gov/raise_hand. When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to “raise your hand”. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

  1. Email comments to cityclerk@ci.antioch.ca.us by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting. The comment will be read into the record at the meeting (350 words maximum, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the mayor). IMPORTANT: Identify the agenda item in the subject line of your email if the comment is for Announcement of Community Events, Public Comment, or a specific agenda item number. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

All emails received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting will be entered into the record or the meeting. Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak.

 

 

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Nomination papers for candidates in April 5 special election for Assembly District 11 available Tuesday

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

The current map of State Assembly District 11. Source: Statewide Data Base

Due to vacancy created by Jim Frazier’s resignation; winner will serve out remainder of term through December

By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department

The April 5th, 2022, special state election gets into full swing on Tuesday, January 25th as nomination papers will be made available for candidates running for the current California State Assembly District 11 office. The current district includes Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen in Contra Costa County.

The special election is to fill the vacancy created by former Assemblyman Jim Frazier who announced his resignation, last month, effective Dec. 31. On Jan. 7, the day Gov. Newsom issued a proclamation calling for the special election.

If one candidate receives a majority of the votes (50% + 1), no special general election will be held. The winner will serve out the remainder of the two-year term through early December. If a special general election is needed it will be held June 7, the same day as the regular primary election and the candidate with the most votes in that election wins.

A separate election will be held during the June primary and November general elections for the new Assembly District 11, which now only includes Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen in Contra Costa County.

The nomination period runs through 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 10, 2022.  Papers for the special California Assembly District 11 election are available at the Contra Costa Elections Office, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez.

For further information on this special election and key dates, go to https://www.cocovote.us/april-5-2022-special-primary-election-assembly-district-11/.

“This special election was just announced by the governor earlier this month and we don’t want our constituents to be surprised,” said Deborah Cooper, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters. “If you are considering running for office, the Contra Costa County Elections Office provides a candidate manual with comprehensive information about the process and we are available to assist you.”

The Contra Costa Elections Division is offering appointments to interested candidates on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Filing documents and information will be provided to interested constituents at their appointment.

The process takes 20 minutes. Due to the current surge in the pandemic/Covid-19, we are asking constituents to schedule an appointment through email at candidate.services@vote.cccounty.us or by calling us at 925-335-7800.

All visitors will be asked to check-in at the Elections lobby and will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.

For more information, visit www.cocovote.us or call (925) 335-7800.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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After 16 years in Congress McNerney will not seek reelection clearing path for Rep. Harder to run in new CA-9

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Rep. McNerney official photo. Map of new California Congressional District 9. Source: www.wedrawthelinesca.org/final_maps

Represented portions of Antioch for 10 years; newly redrawn 9th District viewed as more favorable for a Republican to win; three candidates in San Joaquin County pull papers to run for open seat; Congressman Harder from neighboring district announces candidacy

By Allen Payton

Eight-term Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement announcing he will not run for re-election in 2022, making him the Democrat in the House of Representatives to make a similar announcement.

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection in California’s newly created 9th Congressional District.

I am honored that the citizens of California’s 9th Congressional District chose me as their representative in the past five elections, and that those in California’s previous 11th Congressional District gave me the privilege of representing them for three terms.

I am very proud of the many accomplishments that my staff and I have achieved in Congress, including the creation of a major veteran’s health center facility in San Joaquin County, providing outstanding help for constituents with federal agencies, and securing major investments in infrastructure and public safety, broadband, education, childcare, and health care access. I have always fought tirelessly for those in need, and I will continue to do so.

I am grateful for the love and support of my family, who have been by my side throughout this journey. I could not have done this without them.

I will keep working for the people of my district throughout the remainder of my term and look forward to new opportunities to continue to serve.”

The current California 9th Congressional District map from 2011-21 which includes portions of Antioch. Source: Office of Congressman McNerney

Republicans Respond

Both the current and new 9th District maps encompass most of San Joaquin County, which added Tracy, Manteca and Ripon, and portions of Eastern Contra Costa County. That part of the district has shrunk to just include Discovery Bay and Byron, and no longer includes Brentwood, Oakley, Bethel Island, Knightsen and portions of Antioch. The new district is considered to be more favorable for a Republican to win.

National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair responded to McNerney’s announcement writing, “No one wants to run as a House Democrat. Jerry McNerney is making the smart decision to quit instead of watching Democrats lose their majority.”

“Any Democrat who runs in this district is vulnerable because their Party is responsible for higher prices, increased crime and the highest unemployment rate in the country,” she added.

According to Ballotpedia.org, McNerney is the 28th Democrat in the House to not seek re-election. So far, 13 Republicans have also announced they’re not running for re-election, this year.

McNerney’s Election History

The 70-year-old McNerney was first elected in 2006 defeating Pombo by 53 to 46%. In 2010, McNerney narrowly defeated David Harmer by 48 to 46.9% with a third-party candidate receiving 5.1% of the vote. Following redistricting in 2011, McNerney moved from Pleasanton to Stockton to run in the newly drawn district and ran in the new 9th District in 2012 defeating Ricky Gill by a margin of 55.6% to 44.4% of the vote.

Rep. Harder’s Twitter announcement on Dec. 22, 2021.

Four Candidates So Far, Filing Process Began Jan. 3

According to the Contra Costa Elections Division no candidate has pulled papers to run in the 9th District. But according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office, three people have pulled papers to run which include progressive Democrat Harpreet Singh Chima, San Francisco resident Karena Apple Feng, and Republican Khalid “Jeffrey” Jafri, an unsuccessful candidate for State Assembly in 2012 and 2020.

Congressman Josh Harder, a Democrat who represents the current CA-10 district, announced on his Twitter feed Tuesday morning that he’s running in the CA-9 congressional district. He had previously announcing last month he was running in neighboring district CA-13 in his “hometown” of Turlock, which is split between districts CA-5 and -13 and located over 20 miles outside of CA-9. But that tweet was deleted as of Tuesday morning. (See all CA congressional district maps)

Rep. Harder’s Twitter announcement on Jan. 18, 2022.

The Signatures In-Lieu of the Filing Fee Period began on Jan. 3 and ends Feb. 9. Each signature reduces the amount of filing fee candidates are required to pay to get on the ballot. That is followed by the Candidate Nomination Period which runs from Feb. 14 to March 11. But that will be extended another five days until March 16 since the incumbent is not running.

The Primary Election is on Tuesday, June 7. The top two candidates in the race will face each other in the General Election in November.

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Participate in democracy during BART’s remaining redistricting meetings

Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Proposed BART Districts 2022 Plan A

For redrawing BART director districts; next meeting today at 9:00 a.m.

RELEASE DATE: 01/14/2022

Have a direct say in democracy by participating in BART’s redistricting meetings. The next virtual meeting is scheduled for January 15, at 9 am, followed by two 6pm meetings on January 22nd and February 2nd.

BART election districts are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census. The primary purpose of redistricting is to ensure population equality among districts.  This process is guided by traditional redistricting principles as well as the U.S. Constitution, the California Constitution, the federal Voting Rights Act and the BART District Act.

Districts must be contiguous and should also be compact, minimize splitting cities, respect communities of interest and follow natural and man-made boundaries.

Proposed BART Districts 2022 Plan B

Key Points to Consider in Redistricting

Traditional Redistricting Principles

Since decennial redistricting began in the late 1960s, traditional criteria and principles have developed. While the equal population of election districts is the overriding principle there are accompanying goals. In varying degrees, the criteria are compactness, continuity, respect for communities of interest, preserving political subdivisions, and the core of previous districts. All are not of equal weight, and all are subordinate to an equal population. Care must be taken not to dilute the voting strength of minorities.

Compactness

Compactness refers to a districts’ geographic shape and how its interior is dispersed within its boundaries. A circle is a perfectly compact shape. In redistricting, the notion of compactness is difficult to evaluate because one begins with irregularly shaped borders and the political subdivisions may be irregular in shape. Geometric measures of compactness are often misleading because geographic features and relationships are more complex than simple geometry. The principle of compactness should be considered functionally and must compete with other criteria.

Continuity

Continuity requires that all parts of a district be connected. Districts can be drawn that are contiguous by way of water or a bridge. While crossing water is allowed it should be minimized as it makes it more difficult to respect communities of interest.

Preserving Political Subdivisions

An attempt should be made to minimize splitting cities and well-defined neighborhoods.

Respect for Communities of Interest

Communities of interest are subjective and difficult to define. A community of interest has some common thread of shared interest. Those communities can be based on such diverse elements as geography, language, socio-economic-cultural interests, even transportation corridors. Race may be considered, but it may not be the sole reason for drawing a district in a particular manner.

Preserving the Core of Prior Districts

Preserving the core of a previous district is thought to be the least disruptive to the voters in each area. One, of course, would not seek to maintain a previous district that was legally objectionable.

New districts should be drawn deliberatively and with common sense. Adherence to traditional redistricting principles and the federal Voting Rights Act will ensure fair and reasonable districts.

Community participation is available via Zoom on January 15, 2022 starting at 9 am at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88956838390

You may join the Committee Meeting via Zoom by calling 1-669-900-6833 and entering access code 889 5683 8390. Dial *9 to raise your hand when you wish to speak, and dial *6 to unmute when you are requested to speak.

Virtual Meetings of BART’s Redistricting Committee and Archived Video 

The BART Redistricting Committee consists of Directors Lateefah Simon (Chairperson), Elizabeth Ames and Mark Foley. Here is the remaining proposed redistricting outreach meeting schedule, materials, zoom information, and videos of previous meetings are provided below the list of meetings dates:

  • Meeting 4: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 9 am
  • Meeting 5: Saturday, January 22, 2022, 6 pm
  • Meeting 6: Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 6 pm

January 8, 2022 Meeting – A virtual meeting was held Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 12 to 2 pm. Watch the video of the 1/8/22 meeting.

December 15, 2021 Meeting – A virtual meeting was held Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm. Watch the video of the 12/15/21 meeting.

December 1, 2021 Meeting – A virtual meeting was held Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 1 to 3 pm. Watch the video of the 12/1/21 meeting.

Documents from the December 1 meeting:

BART Board Districts Map Plan A
BART Board Districts Map Plan B
Table of BART District’s Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) by Race/Ethnicity
Table of Population by BART District, 1990-2030(estimate)

November 10, 2021 Meeting – The first virtual meeting was held Wednesday, November 10, 2021 from 1 to 3 pm. Watch the video of the 11/10/21 meeting.

Current District Maps and Early Drafts of Potential (Not Final) New Maps

District 1
Current District 1 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 1 Plan A
District 1 Plan B

District 2

Current District 2 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 2 Plan A
District 2 Plan B

District 3

Current District 3 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 3 Plan A
District 3 Plan B

District 4

Current District 4 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 4 Plan A
District 4 Plan B

District 5

Current District 5 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 5 Plan A
District 5 Plan B

District 6

Current District 6 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 6 Plan A
District 6 Plan B

District 7

Current District 7 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 7 Plan A
District 7 Plan B

District 8

Current District 8 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 8 Plan A
District 8 Plan B

District 9

Current District 9 Map
Potential new maps (not final):
District 9 Plan A
District 9 Plan B

Mapping Tools for Public Engagement

BART has rolled out mapping tools to enable public input for redistricting.

BART interactive mapping tool for redistricting: This tool gives residents the ability to create and share a Community of Interest and/or draft Board of Director districts. Map submissions will appear in the gallery on the main landing page, enabling residents to view public input for redistricting.

BART Districts and Demographic Data: This web mapping tool is for visualizing BART districts and demographic data.

In addition to the interactive mapping tool, BART is providing a Community Input Map to allow residents to identify and provide supplemental information regarding their Community of Interest. This feature can be used on a mobile device and is offered in English and Spanish (Español), providing residents with an app that can be used to submit community information in their language of choice. Explore these tools using the links below.

Community Input Map: English

Community Input Map: Spanish

Information about current District boundaries

BART 2011 Election Districts Final Report – Adopted 12/1/2011 (10 Mb .pdf file)
All BART Districts
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco
Map: All BART Districts (.pdf file)

District: 1
Counties Included: Contra Costa
Cities Included: Acalanes Ridge, Alamo, Alhambra Valley, Blackhawk, Camino Tassajara, Castle Hill, Clayton, Concord, Contra Costa Centre, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Martinez, Mountain View, Norris Canyon, North Gate, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, Reliez Valley, San Miguel, San Ramon, Saranap, Shell Ridge, Vine Hill, Walnut Creek
Map: BART District 1 (.pdf file)

District: 2
Counties Included: Contra Costa
Cities Included: Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clyde, Concord, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Vine Hill
Map: BART District 2 (.pdf file)

District: 3
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa
Cities Included: Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, El Cerrito, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, San Lorenzo
Map: BART District 3 (.pdf file)

District: 4
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro
Map: BART District 4 (.pdf file)

District: 5
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Castro Valley, Cherryland, Dublin, Fairview, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol
Map: BART District 5 (.pdf file)

District: 6
Counties Included: Alameda
Cities Included: Fremont, Hayward (partial), Newark, Sunol, Union City
Map: BART District 6 (.pdf file)

District: 7
Counties Included: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco
Cities Included: Albany, Bayview, Berkeley, Crockett, East Richmond Heights, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Montalvin Manor, North Richmond, Oakland, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, Rollingwood, San Francisco, San Pablo, Tara Hills
Map: BART District 7 (.pdf file)

District: 8
Cities Included: San Francisco
Counties Included: San Francisco
Map: BART District 8 (.pdf file)

District: 9
Cities Included: San Francisco
Counties Included: San Francisco
Map: BART District 9 (.pdf file)

Learn more at www.bart.gov/redistricting.

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Antioch Mayor Thorpe uses racist term to promote recall campaign fundraiser roast Friday calling proponents “Karens”

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Promotion for Mayor Thorpe’s roast fundraiser for his recall campaign committee on Friday night Jan. 14, 2022, showing host committee members and roasters and name of committee using racist “Karen” term on the Eventbrite site.

“Lamar Thorpe is clearly lashing out with disrespectful and racist verbiage to distract voters from pointed examples of his failed leadership” – recall supporter Alicia Taylor

Other elected officials listed as roasters or on the host committee refuse to denounce rhetoric

“I find it infuriating he’s calling us all Karens and furthering the racial divide in our city.” –recall proponent David Amezcua

Fundraiser announcement showing State Treasurer Fiona Ma as one of the participants posted on one of Thorpe’s social media pages. Source: Arne Simonsen

By Allen Payton

In expectation of his recall qualifying for the ballot, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe is planning to raise funds by hosting a roast of himself Friday night, Jan. 14. On the fundraiser’s Eventbrite site the description refers to the proponents and supporters as “a small group of #Karens”. In addition, the name of Thorpe’s campaign committee is, “Stop the #KAREN Recall of Mayor Lamar Thorpe”.

According to Dictionary.com, “Karen is a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors. In 2020, Karen spread as a label used to call out white women who were captured in viral videos engaging in what are widely seen as racist acts.”

The invite posted in December reads: “As Mayor Thorpe’s first year draws to a close, a small group of #Karens–who didn’t support his bid for Mayor in the first place–are now trying to undo the will of the voters.

Are we surprised? Hardly. We sent Mayor Thorpe to City Hall in order to upset the status quo–and, boy, are they upset!

He’s made it crystal clear from day one–the days of a small group of special interests trying to manipulate City Hall were over the moment he was elected.

Together, we still have important work to do! We hope you’ll join us at Mayor Thorpe’s next fundraiser. This event promises to be a lot of laughs, and we look forward to seeing you there.”

According to the Eventbrite site, the list of those scheduled to roast Thorpe are State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Congressman Jerry McNerney, State Senator Steve Glazer, Antioch District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson and Contra Costa Community College Board District 4 Trustee Andy Li. In a promotion of the event on Thorpe’s official Facebook page, not his campaign page, he announced Congressman Mark DeSaulnier is part of the host committee. In another promotion of the event on Sunday, Thorpe announced Congressman John Garamendi, who is running for re-election to represent part of Antioch in the newly drawn 8th District, has joined the event’s host committee, as well.

Fundraiser announcement showing Congressmen DeSaulnier and McNerney as participants posted on one of Thorpe’s social media pages. Source: Arne Simonsen

“Unexpected call from former CA Lt. Governor and current Congressman John Garamendi earlier today,” the mayor wrote. “He recently learned about the #Karen recall effort in Antioch. He reached out to let me know that he’s standing with me to protect the progress Antioch has made in working to house our nieghbors [sic] without houses, police reform, building youth programs, launch our mental health crisis response team, and Chinese reconciliation efforts.”

“He’s now part of the host committee and will be in attendance Friday. Help me put this noise behind us by making a donation today,” Thorpe added.

Proponents Say Thorpe is Race-Baiting

The use of the racist term used by Thorpe in the name of his committee, as well as what he’s claiming are the reasons why they’re recalling him is what has some proponents and other Antioch residents supporting the effort upset at him and those supporting him as roasters and event hosts. The 20 proponents who signed Thorpe’s recall notice include women and men who are White, Hispanic and Black.

“It is despicable that Thorpe and his followers are calling those leading the recall ‘Karens’,” said Arne Simonsen, one of the recall organizers. “

Asked if he thinks Thorpe is race-baiting by using that term, Simonsen responded, “Yes, he is. And the overwhelming number of proponents for his recall are registered Democrats!”

When reached for comment and asked if she is Hispanic, recall organizer Kathy Cabrera responded, “My hubby (one of the recall proponents) is, which means my children are and I am highly offended by his calling us Karens. My family is a melting pot. I’m white, Husband Latino, Children Latino, Foster son I raised is black And I have a transgender child. I am sooooo not racist.

It’s my belief that Thorpe thinks this recall is being run by Republican “Karens” and I want to set the record straight – in fact the proponents are a group of Bi-Partisan individuals – some of which who even voted for Thorpe but have been disappointed in his actions this first year in office.

Regarding Garamendi’s participation, Cabrera wrote, “I wonder if he is aware that Thorpe is deeming this event as ‘The Stop the Karen’s recall’ event? Basically, that he is calling his constituents ‘Karen’s’ which is offensive. Because us ‘Karens ’ are also HIS constituents, and we will remember this when it comes time to vote.”

Promotion for Mayor Thorpe’s roast fundraiser for his recall campaign committee on Friday night Jan. 14, 2022, showing host committee members and roasters and the name of his campaign committee (encircled in red) using the racist “Karen” term.

“One of the Thorpe Recall Proponents reached out to Mark DeSaulnier and stated that Mark DeSaulnier endorsed his original candidacy, he is not supporting this current climate nor is he aware that his picture or likeness is being utilized in this manner,” Cabrera continued. “Fiona Ma and Jerry McNerney are the same.”

“Many of us have been calling and emailing them all morning. Now, let’s see if these politicians still back him,” she added.

Another supporter of Thorpe’s recall, Julia Gonzalez, shared her thoughts writing, “I am also part of the Recall Thorpe group. I am also offended by the mayor calling us ‘KARENS’.”

Fundraiser announcement showing Congressmen DeSaulnier and McNerney as participants. Source: Thorpe’s official Facebook page.

“I am first-generation Hispanic, my ex-husband is from Mexico. My four children are first- and second- generation Hispanic and I’m also a proud mother and grandmother of a past and currently present U.S. Navy Servicemen,” she continued. “Lamar Thorpe is not Hispanic, just raised by a foster family that were. Anyone can learn the language. He’s a disrespectful Navy veteran that won’t even salute the flag at any event especially at the Veterans Memorial which there is a picture of this for proof.”

“When has it been tolerated to call citizens names like ‘Karens’ or heckling people in public?” Gonzalez asked. “He’s an embarrassment to our city, to our citizens and especially to all our servicemen, veterans and our country. I SUPPORT RECALL LAMAR THORPE 2022.”

Recall proponent, Velma Wilson wrote, “In response to the Mayor calling the proponents who signed the Recall against him ‘Karens’ I find it rather offensive and outright disrespectful. Myself and my husband are appalled by some of the behavior this mayor has displayed.”

“As African American residents we have raised our children to not only serve the community but to respect those in authority,” she continued. “It’s amazing as we prepare to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. how his message of hope, peace, love and unity have been glossed over. Dr. King died trying to unify not divide. I say to Mayor Thorpe, you have failed the people of Antioch because of your lack of wisdom to support unifying the community.”

Fundraiser announcement showing State Senator Steve Glazer as a participant posted on Thorpe’s TikTok account on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

“I am not and never will be a ‘Karen’. I serve this community with my time and talent and yes, I am not afraid to speak on what is right,” Wilson shared. “Dr. King, once said, ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ Lamar could start right now by doing a small part to treat people with dignity, courtesy and respect and stop spreading hatred and bigotry.”

“I am a first generation Mexican-American male that was born in Oakland and raised in Richmond and am one of the 20 proponents of the mayoral recall attempt,” David Amezcua wrote in response. “I find it infuriating he’s calling us all Karens and furthering the racial divide in our city.  It’s just a way to deflect from the real issues and try to discredit those of us that want him removed.”

Another resident, Alicia Taylor, shared her frustrations with the mayor and calling out his racism, and sharing photos of her African-American grandparents in a post on the Recall Lamar Thorpe Facebook page, writing, “I voted for the wrong man. I thought Lamar Thorpe understood our city and state. We are a melting pot of many ethnicities. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. I was wrong about him, and I feel like a victim of false advertising.”

Fundraiser announcement showing Community College Board District 4 Trustee (no longer president as of Dec. 8) as a participant posted on Thorpe’s TikTok account on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

“Lamar Thorpe is clearly lashing out with disrespectful and racist verbiage to distract voters from pointed examples of his failed leadership,” she continued. “Lamar Thorpe, you DO NOT know the constituents of Antioch. It is disappointing to see your disrespectful, self-serving agenda, and racist behavior produced by you, on social media. I hope everyone remembers your authentic smile displayed here when I’m out with the RECALL petitions.”

“Never assume, Lamar Thorpe,” Taylor wrote. “Effie Crenchaw Lee (only gma I knew) attended and worked for Dunbar High School in Little Rock, AR. She had to pay poll tax but couldn’t vote. She was a woman and a negro. Additionally, her cousin went on to represent a big part of black history.”

“Horace James Lee, (only gpa I knew) was one of twelve born on a farm in Edison, GA,” she continued. “On his way to fulfill his military orders from NY to Monterey, CA, he was denied rest / shelter because he was black, and with a white woman. Additionally, his aunt went on to represent black history, too.”

“You are attempting to divide MY FAMILY and MY NEIGHBORS with the old racist black and white show. DENIED. You can disagree with someone without being disrespectful. That’s a leadership quality you have forgotten sir. Do better,” Taylor added.

Questions for Thorpe, Host Committee Members, Roasters

Fundraiser announcement showing Antioch District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson as a participant posted on Thorpe’s TikTok account on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

Questions were sent via email Tuesday afternoon to Thorpe and each of the roasters and members of the host committee or their representatives asking if they are aware of the racist connotation of the term “Karen”. In addition, they were provided with a copy of Thorpe’s recall notice which lists the 20 proponents and reasons for his recall, asking, “are you claiming the proponents and other supporters of your recall are racists and trying to remove you from office because you’re Black? Are you not aware that the list of 20 proponents on your recall notice includes women and men who are White, Hispanic and Black, and some voted for you in 2020, some are Democrats who no doubt voted for some of those on the host committee and/or are roasters? Do you really believe all those Antioch community leaders and residents are racists and oppose you because of your ethnicity or skin color?” (See related article)

The reasons given for the recall, listed in the notice and on the petitions currently circulating for signature gathering, which mention nothing about Thorpe’s ethnicity nor skin color, are as follows:

“Disrespect for Council Members and the Public who disagree with you during City Council meetings. Blocking constituents and not allowing them to comment on your social media. You have failed to provide full support to the great men and women of the Antioch Police which is impeding their ability to keep our residents safe. As a result of your failed leadership it has led to the resignation of Police Chief Tammany Brooks who will be taking up a new post in Boise, Idaho; and the announced retirement of City Manager Ron Bernal. You put on the Council agenda to rescind the School Resource Officer Grant without any public input from the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) Board or Administration after the Officers had been interviewed and selected. You misled the Public about when you were informed about the death of Angelo Quintos, when you had earlier received an email from Chief Brooks. You blamed business owners on Sycamore Drive for the crimes that are being committed by others that live nearby which does not reflect Antioch’s theme: ‘Opportunity Lives Here’.”

Finally, the other elected officials participating in the event were asked, “do you agree with Lamar calling the supporters of his recall racists, and think it’s appropriate or funny to support his fundraiser with that in the description?”

Garamendi Unaware of Use of “Karen” Term

Garamendi’s chief of staff, Bradley Bottoms responded, saying, “the congressman was asked to help Lamar which he agreed to do. But he wasn’t aware” of the use of the term “Karen” in Thorpe’s campaign committee name or promotion for the fundraiser. “It’s not his intention to offend anyone.”

Additional attempts to reach Garamendi or Bottoms, including a call and text on Thursday afternoon, for further comment were unsuccessful.

DeSaulnier Continues Support for Thorpe, Falsely Claim He Won by “Substantial Majority” in 2020

DeSaulnier responded with a statement that reads, “It’s clear to me that many recall campaigns are now being used as political weapons to undermine the will of the voters in free and fair elections. I support Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who was elected by a substantial majority in 2020 to represent the city and people of Antioch.  The recall effort against him in a non-election year is a total waste of taxpayer money.”

However, Thorpe received less than a majority of the vote with 44.44% in the November 2020 election according to the Contra Costa Elections Division of the county clerk’s office.

Pressed further, asking the congressman what he had to say about Thorpe’s use of the racist term “Karen” to describe his recall proponents and supporters, DeSaulnier did not respond.

Thorpe posted a video on his Instagram account about a woman being called a “Karen” on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Source: Kathy Cabrera

Thorpe Doubles and Triples Down

Thorpe posted a video on his Instagram account about “Karens” on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Source: Kathy Cabrera

Thorpe responded to the emailed questions writing, “The host committee is hosting the Roast of Mayor Lamar Thorpe. I’m characterizing the recall effort as a #karen recall because that’s exactly what it is.”

A follow up question was sent to the mayor, “So, just to clarify, you are calling the recall proponents and supporters racists and you believe they’re working to recall you because you’re Black?” But he did not respond.

Then on Tuesday, Jan. 11, Thorpe continued with his racist rhetoric by posting on his Instagram account a video of him laughing at a woman being called a “Karen”.

The event will be held at La Plazuela Restaurant in Antioch from 7:00-9:00 PM. Ticket prices are listed as $50 – #LOL, $100 – #bellylaugh, $250 – #one-liner and $400 – #heckler. As of Thursday evening the roast’s Eventbrite site shows it is sold out.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

 

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Contra Costa College Board votes for gerrymandered redistricting map protecting incumbents, splitting more cities

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

The approved new Contra Costa Community College Trustee Ward Boundaries Map showing the location of high schools in the county, except for Deer Valley High School in Antioch. The name of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School, also located in Antioch, is misspelled. Source: 4CD

4-0-1 vote approves staff drawn map keeping boundaries significantly the same as current, politically drawn wards map from 2011; leaves portions of Antioch in same ward with most of the San Ramon Valley

By Allen Payton

The Contra Costa Community College board, on a 4-0-1 vote, approved a final redistricting, staff-drawn map that keeps the ward boundaries significantly gerrymandered, protecting each of the incumbents for re-election. Ward 5 Trustee Fernando Sandoval voted to abstain. During a public hearing on Ward Equalization Based on the 2020 Census at their regular meeting Wednesday night, the trustees reviewed three maps drawn by district staff, and only one member of the public, a former trustee, spoke. The new wards will go into effect for this year’s November elections, in which both Ward 3 Trustee Rebecca Barrett and Ward 4 Trustee Andy Li face re-election if they decide to run.

In addition, the board again discussed the “Public employee discipline/dismissal/release/complaint” of Chancellor Bryan Reece during a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. But no reportable action was taken during the closed session.

During the staff presentation on redistricting, Executive Vice Chancellor for Education and Technology Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said, “This is the fourth meeting we’ve held in order to achieve equalization” which was the main focus of the staff-drawn maps. Those include a Community Roundtable on Ward Redistricting on Jan. 6.

“You wanted to see more maps and interactive maps, you wanted to have the high school markers placed on the maps and more time for public input,” she continued. “We also asked the public for more input through an online survey…which went live on Dec. 17. We received a total of 12 responses.”

Three maps were offered to the public, two that are very similar to the current wards map, and one similar to the map that the county Board of Supervisors adopted, with a significantly gerrymandered Ward 2 which is very different than Supervisorial District 5. (See related article)

“Nearly 60% (7 people) indicated that Map 2 is the favored map. Map 3 was the least favored map. About 75% of respondents (8 or 9 people) said it was the least favorite,” Mehdizadeh stated. “We continue to offer Map 2 as the best map.”

That was the same map she and the district’s attorney recommended previously.

The three proposed maps show the locations of the high schools in the county except for Deer Valley High School in Antioch and misspelled the name of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School, also in Antioch.

Splits More Cities

While the new trustee ward map has a total population deviation of just 1.7% between wards – which is closer to the intent of the Constitution of ensuring one-person-one-vote – it keeps things pretty much the same as the 2011 map. It continues to split Antioch, Brentwood and Pittsburg in East County, Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek and now, one of the county’s smallest cities, Clayton, in Central County, and in West County, instead of splitting Pinole, as the current map does, the new map splits Hercules.

Public Comments

Former board trustee Greg Enholm was the only person to speak during public comments saying, “as a Trustee for 2012 to 2020 I did not participate in the ward equalization process for the 2000 and 2010 Census data. But I was affected as a candidate for the subsequent 2006 and 2010 Ward 3 elections created from the 2000 Census Data and the 2012, 2016, and 2020 elections created from the 2010 Census Data.”

“I have been a candidate in five contested elections being elected in two,” he continued. “I have had many opportunities to interact as a candidate with the approximately 200,000 4CD constituents each in Wards 3 and 5 as well as eight years being accountable to all one million 4CD constituents. I believe that the voters must select their representatives not the reverse. I hope that all five trustees agree with that statement and will ask that staff prevent or at least reveal any inappropriate effort by any current or prior trustee to use ward equalization to primarily improve their opportunity to be re-elected or affect any current or prior trustee’s opportunities to be a successful candidate using the 2000, 2010, and/or 2020 ward equalization process.”

Enholm provided each of the trustees with a copy of his comments on the three maps proposed by staff.

“Please read my comment below on all three proposed maps and ask staff if they have assured that the 2000 and 2010 ward maps were created in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in effect when they were adopted,” he said.

Trustee Comments

Ward 3 Trustee Fernando Sandoval was the only member of the board to speak, asking, “Can you tell me the implications for adopting each map? Can we respond to Mr. Enholm’s question…if the maps were created fairly.”

All three maps comply with population balance, Mehdizadeh pointed out.

“Map number 1 is a slight variation of the first one we presented you,” she said. “As it pertains to the second map, we attempted to keep as many cities as tight knit.”

However, both proposed Maps 1 and 2 split more cities than the current ward map.

“The third map was a request that came from the December meeting…that the Board of Supervisors had adopted their map…that was a consideration, as well,” Mehdizadeh stated.

In response to Sandoval she said, “Your question about the 2000 and 2010 process, I personally was not involved in the 2000 process.”

Mehdizadeh again spoke of population balance.

“In 2010 I can tell you I was directly involved,” she stated. “We worked closely with our legal counsel…we spent quality time with our governing board to get public input.”

“Our county Office of Education chose to adopt the same map,” Mehdizadeh added. “That showed a reduction in costs” for printing and mailing ballots during elections.

“I do know they have a meeting on the 19th,” Sandoval said referring to the county Board of Education. “But this year they hired their own demographer. I don’t know why. Is there a reason we wouldn’t wait for them to come back? We want to make sure the alignment is consistent. Would it be prudent to wait until they vote on a final recommendation?”

“That could be our challenge,” Mehdizadeh responded. “Our maps have to be approved by the end of February. It really is who ultimately who votes and makes a determination of their maps. They have been working closely with us, as staff. They are very well apprised of the timelines. It really is up to the board.”

With no other comments by the trustees Board President and District 2 Trustee Judy Walters closed the public hearing.

Board Adopts Map 2

Then later during the meeting, under NonConsent Agenda – Action Items – Miscellaneous, on a motion by Trustee Li and seconded by Ward 1 Trustee John Marquez, the board voted 4-0-1 to adopt Map 2. Sandoval voted to abstain. Student Trustee Austin Green also voted for the motion, but the vote is advisory, only.

However, the resolution signed by both Walters and Marquez, who is the Board Secretary, incorrectly shows Sandoval voted for the map and Marquez voted to abstain. 4CD adopted Ward Equalization Resolution 0122-20B-MI – incorrect

When reached for comment about the mistake Sandoval said “that’s wrong. I’ll call John Marquez.”

When informed of the mistake, Marquez said, “I’ll call the staff member who handles that, Pat (Kaya) and get it corrected, right away.”

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Antioch Council discusses more redistricting maps, including fourth new map submitted Monday night

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

Antioch Redistricting Public Map #503 submitted Monday night is slightly incomplete on the west side of the proposed District 2. There were no User Comments provided. Source: www.antiochca.gov/fc/district-elections

Torres-Walker stands for Pledge of Allegiance; mayor welcomes Con Johnson as interim city manager, finally refers to him as “retired San Francisco Police Lieutenant”

By Allen Payton

During a public hearing at the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting, the Antioch City Council reviewed new maps submitted by members of the public, as well as the eight maps previously reviewed, including three drawn by the consultant and five submitted by members of the public. In a surprise to some residents watching, District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, for the first time since the council returned to holding in-person meetings.

“Since the last meeting we have had four new submissions,” said Karin Mac Donald, owner and Senior Researcher of Q2 Data and Research. “Two of the public submissions don’t meet the Fair Maps Act” due to “contiguity”. She was referring to Maps 39 and 49 reviewed by the council at a previous meeting.

See all maps on the City’s Redistricting webpage under Draft Maps and Public Map Submissions.

“You have one more mapping meeting on Jan. 25th,” she added. “It would be good to whittle down the number of maps” for consideration.

A fourth new map, #503, was submitted last night. (See related article)

During public comments, resident Harry Thurston, one of only two residents to speak, again advocated for Map B, as he had at a previous meeting.

Resident Sharon Johnson asked, “what is the reason for redistricting when you just did it two years ago? My neighbors and I are wondering.”

“If you’re going to do it…” she continued, then said she also supported Map B “because it keeps current neighborhoods together.”

Drawn by consultant. Notes: Current Antioch City Council boundaries are shown in black on this map. Proposed boundaries are shown in brown and filled in with color. Draft Map B only modifies the boundary between District 3 and 4.

“This process is required every 10 years. What we did last time was not redistricting but districting due to a lawsuit…based on the Census,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe explained

The current districts are based on the 2010 Census. The new districts will be based on the 2020 Census which includes a population increase of 15,000 residents.

During that process in which the council adopted the current districts in May 2018, Thorpe asked Consultant Mac Donald about the current process. “Will we see drastic changes in where the lines will be?”

She responded by saying, “I think that depends on what you wanted to do. There is no law…that says you must start with the districts drawn in the last process.”

Thorpe then stated, “So, we can start with a completely new…or go with what we have and try to adjust the lines accordingly.” (See related articles here and here)

Council Reviews New Maps Submitted by the Public

“I would like to see the new maps that were submitted,” said District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock.

Jane Hood of Q2 then reviewed the four new submitted maps 91, 95, 99 and 503.

She pointed out that the new map, #503 was incomplete, as it is does not include a small portion on the west side of District 2. “It should be included with District 2,” Hood stated.

Ogorchock asked to see Map 91, again, which Hood put up on the screen.

About Map 95 Hood then said, “You’ll see this changes things, a bit.”

She then presented Map 99 and provided the population deviation percentages and described the boundaries.

“The last submission we have was received last night, which is #503,” Hood said, then reviewed the district boundaries and population percentages.

“This process continues until February so there’s time to submit maps,” Thorpe said.

“Do you want me to include all those maps in the staff report?” asked City Attorney Thomas L. Smith.

“Yes, please,” Thorpe replied. He then asked to review the City’s current districts map and the last two maps that the council considered in 2018.

“This map was created through public engagement and by the elected officials,” he said about a map that the council did not approve, known as Quadrants C. As reported previously, that map used major thoroughfares on the south side of Highway 4 as the dividing lines, such as Putnam Drive, Lone Tree Way and Deer Valley Road, as well as the Delta DeAnza Trail on the west side of the city.

Thorpe then spoke about the current districts map.

“This map wasn’t created by any public officials or by any member of the public,” he said. “This map was created by the consultant. No lines were changed…it was literally the exact map created by the consultant. I point this out because there’s been some implications that lines were moved to accommodate one individual council member. That’s a bold-faced lie.”

“That map passed on a 3-2 vote,” Thorpe continued. “There was some interest particularly by Latino residents up north that they haven’t had representation. This process was fair…of the highest regard. This map is fair.”

However, the consultant drew the map after extensive input from both members of the public and city council during several meetings and special workshops, during the 2018 process. Also, at that time, Thorpe said he supported having two council members represent the north side of the freeway stating, “North Antioch deserves two council people.” But in an Op-Ed by him published the day before, he advocated for one district north of the freeway. Plus, Thorpe was one of the three council members, along with Wilson and then-Councilman Tony Tiscareno to approve the current map with just one council member representing that area of the city.

In addition, during the 2018 process for creating the current map, then-Mayor Sean Wright said, “When you gerrymander you draw crazy lines to make sure you have the people in your district. When drawing the lines, I went down the major thoroughfares. I didn’t look at which family is where. I’m in favor of Quadrants C going forward and Working Draft 1.” (See related article)

 

User Comments: “This leaves all current council members in their districts and makes more sense including the Silverado Drive area in District 2 instead of District 4, and makes Districts 2, 3 and 4 north-south oriented districts instead of east-west.”

Barbanica then asked to see Map 58 and for the Q2 staff to “go over the boundaries?”

Hood then described the district boundaries and population deviation percentages from average.

“It’s just an easy map to follow,” Barbanica said.

Thorpe Introduces Interim City Manager Johnson as Retired Police Lieutenant

The mayor then closed the public hearing and began the introductions of new city staff members.

“It is my duty to introduce our new city manager. Con Johnson is here, today. He took the helm, officially by himself, last week,” Thorpe said. “He’s a retired San Francisco Police Lieutenant. Con, we welcome you.”

“I would just like to thank the mayor and entire council members for this opportunity to work for this wonderful city,” Johnson said.

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