Santa Rosa, CA – February 24, 2021 – The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today established a 15-member commission that will assist the Board in redrawing supervisorial district boundaries using new Census data. Residents of Sonoma County are encouraged to apply now to serve on the Sonoma County Advisory Redistricting Commission, which is expected to begin meeting in May.
“We are inviting individuals who have a passion for civic engagement to apply to serve on this Commission,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “With your help, we will create a citizen empowerment process to use the Census data to redraw the supervisorial district boundaries with a focus on equity.”
The application period will be open from today, February 23, through March 23, 2021. Interested parties will need to complete the Application Form on the County Boards and Commissions website. The Board of Supervisors will select a combination of two appointees per district and five at-large positions to ensure broad and diverse representation. Other criteria that will be considered for representation include geographical area, race and ethnicity, age group, access and functional needs, and industry/sector (e.g. environment, agriculture, business, labor/workforce, social justice, non-profit). Sonoma County elected officials, or family members, staff members, or paid campaign staff of an elected official are not eligible.
Every 10 years the United States Census Bureau conducts a nationwide census to enumerate the country’s population. Under the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the California Elections Code, the Board of Supervisors must oversee the adjustment of supervisorial district boundaries within the County to reflect the new census data and keep supervisorial districts substantially equal in population. The 2020 Census data was initially due to be released on March 31 but, due to COVID-19-related delays, the Census information is not expected to be out until September. Formation of the ARC and subsequent appointment of members to the commission will allow staff to prepare and train the commission and ensure that the County is ready to proceed once the 2020 Census data is released.
In addition to establishing the commission, the County of Sonoma will follow the California Elections Code requirements for extensive public outreach and adoption of the new district boundaries. The Board approved the use of $130,000 for contracts to support the redistricting process, including facilitation and training services, interactive mapping technology, and translation and interpretation services. Public outreach will include public hearings, a media campaign, outreach to community groups including minority communities, live translation at meetings and creation of a website dedicated to redistricting.
Questions about the application process and the County’s Redistricting 2021 effort may be directed to Redistricting2021@sonoma-county.org.