Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Assembly Bill 849 (2019) requires cities and counties to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings and/or workshops and doing public outreach, including to non-English-speaking communities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is redistricting?
Every ten years, districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each board member represents about the same number of constituents. Redistricting is done using U.S. Census data, which is expected to be released in July 2021. For the County of Sonoma, the redistricting process must be completed by December 15, 2021.
Why does redistricting matter to me?
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a board member. The Board of Supervisors will seek input in selecting the next district map for our supervisorial districts. You have an opportunity to share with the Board of Supervisors how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.
What do the existing supervisorial districts look like?
You can find a map of the County’s current supervisorial districts map
What criteria will the County use when drawing district lines?
To the extent practicable, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria:
- geographically contiguous districts (each supervisorial district should share a common border with the next),
- the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
- geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
- easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.), and
- lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
How will the County notify the public about redistricting?
The County will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings and workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request 72 hours in advance. The County will notify the public about redistricting hearings and workshops, post maps online before adoption, and create a dedicated web page for all relevant information about the redistricting process.
Advisory Redistricting Commission
The Board of Supervisors established the Sonoma County Advisory Redistricting Commission (ARC) at their February 23, 2021 meeting, to advise and assist the Board with redrawing supervisorial district boundaries. The ARC will have 15 members, comprised of two appointees per district and five at-large members. The County received 68 applications during the month-long application period. Announcements of the appointees and appointments of the at-large members will be made at the April 20, 2021 Board meeting, which begins at 8:30 AM. The link for the meeting will be posted at sonoma-county.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Where can I find out more?