On Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors will hold a third public hearing on redistricting. They will consider whether to keep the current district maps virtually intact or to make significant changes to the district lines. The final district maps will be in place for 10 years, until the next census in 2030.
This matters because the changes could drastically alter the composition of districts and affect residents' ability to elect the supervisors of their choice.
Two of the district maps under consideration keep the current districts mostly unchanged. Other maps make major changes: moving Cambria and San Simeon into a district with Paso Robles; putting Oceano in the same district as Grover Beach and Pismo Beach; making the city of San Luis Obispo one district, with one representative on the five-member Board of Supervisors.
While equal population distribution is the first criteria the board must consider, it must also respect "communities of interest" to the extent practicable. A "community of interest" is defined as populations that share common social or economic interests. We urge residents who share a "community of interest" to study the proposed maps on the SLO County Administrative Office redistricting site and to attend the Nov. 19 hearing in person or submit public comment to the board by email at email@example.com.
The League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County is committed to ensuring that this process results in fairly determined districts where election outcomes reflect the will of the electorate.
Cindy Marie Absey
League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County