Pictured: Existing Ventura County Supervisorial District 3 (left, yellow), and all proposed draft districts.
by Kimberly Rivers
Right now every person has an opportunity to participate in a process mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2. This is where the requirement of the national census is written out, and how the population of areas and states determines how many elected officials sit in congress on behalf of the voters in each state.
Ventura County, local cities, school districts and even the state are all on track to meet the same deadline of April 17, 2022. For any election that involves district representation these entities must adopt new maps by that date pursuant or risk violating federal law.
Every ten years, when the nation completes the Census, boundaries must be redrawn to incorporate population and demographic changes to ensure accurate representation by elected officials.
These required changes may mean major, minor or no changes to the district elections that you vote in. This can include county supervisor, city council, school board as well as state and federal elected representatives.
The state Citizens Redistricting Committee has an online interactive website (www.wedrawthelinesca.org/map_viewer) that allows users to see the current jurisdictional lines and the current draft lines.
Redistricting is an important part of the democratic process and helps ensure that communities and neighborhoods are able to vote for people who will represent them. Recent redistricting laws emphasis communities of color and lower income neighborhoods not being split up, but keeping them as a voting block to have more power in being able to elect people who will represent them.
Here is a rundown of some of the Ventura County redistricting efforts and how to get involved.
County Supervisorial Redistricting
Draft maps for the county supervisor districts have been viewable for some weeks and are slated to be finalized at a public hearing scheduled for Dec. 7.
Changes include a shift of Port Hueneme out of District 3 and into District 5.
Details and links to maps are online at: https://www.ventura.org/redistricting/.
Hardcopies of the maps can be viewed at the Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Administration, 800 S. Victoria Avenue.
The Dec. 7 meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. To watch the meeting visit: Observe the Board of Supervisors meetings streaming live at: www.ventura.org/bosmeetings
Public comments can be mailed to: Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009. Email comments should be submitted by 12 p.m. on the day before the meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city of Oxnard is seeking public input on draft maps for the city’s six council districts.
The main consideration for the city is keeping each district close in population of about 33,769 people, and ensuring there isn’t more than a difference of 3,376 between the largest and smallest district. Maps an information are online at www.oxnard.org/redistricting.
The next public hearing for input on the maps to be received is scheduled for Dec. 6
Camarillo is using an interactive map for residents to draw map lines and provide input. The next public hearing on the draft maps is set for 7 p.m., Jan. 26, 2022 with a final hearing and map adoption set for Feb. 23, 2022.
Public comment on redistricting is due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, with the next public hearing to receive input on the draft maps set for Jan. 10, 2022. That will be the first of two meetings scheduled to be held after the draft maps are released.
Ojai continues to accept public input on redrawing district lines in the city and has a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 11, 2022 to review the draft maps that will be released closer to that date. A final map vote is scheduled for March 8, 2022.