Contra Costa County approves final redistribution card

Some Contra Costa County residents will find themselves represented by a new supervisor in the coming months after the approval of a district map that reunited the city of Pinole, split Concord up and redrawn the boundaries that divide Antioch and Walnut Creek.

The Supervisory Board on Tuesday unanimously signed the county’s five newly established districts. Geographical boundaries are drawn about every 10 years to ensure that districts represent roughly the same number of people, as reflected by updated population figures counted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

As a result, a small northern part of Concord will be included in Supervisor Federal Glover’s District 5, which includes Martinez, Hercules, and Pittsburg. The rest of Concord remains with much of Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill in Supervisor Karen Mitchoffs District 4.

During the last redistricting process a decade ago, the city of Pinole was divided between Glovers District 5 and Supervisor John Gioias District 1, which also includes the western county towns of Richmond and El Cerrito. The city will now be reunited in Gioia district.

Walnut Creek will be further divided between Mitchoff’s District 4 and Supervisor Candace Andersen’s District 2, so that Acalanes Ridge, a piece of open space north of Interstate 680 and the State Route 24 intersection, will now be represented by Andersen.

Other areas going to District 2 are Diablo, Blackhawk and Camino Tassajara, which will now join neighboring Danville and San Ramon.

Supervisor Diane Burgis’ District 3, which includes the more rural eastern tribe and the region’s agricultural core, will lose Diablo, Blackhawk and Camino Tassajaraas as well as the Morgan Territory ranching area, which is part of the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

The Tuscany Meadows residences in Pittsburg will move from District 3 to District 5, as will several of Antioch.

All in all, the population of each district will comply with a state law that dictates how much larger one district may be than another. There will be about 244,000 voters in District 2 and 220,000 voters in District 3, a big gap, but not enough to break the state boundary of a 10% difference between the largest and smallest districts.

The Supervisory Board held several public hearings on the redistribution process, with some Concord residents speaking out against having their town divided between districts. They expressed concern that Concord’s large Latino population would be scattered between two districts and see its voting power diluted.

“The other areas are less diverse than this area you split up into Concord,” said Addy, a speaker who attended several redistribution meetings but did not provide a surname. “Taking that voting power from Concord’s communities of interest, I think will hinder them in the future.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the supervisors pushed back against the idea that Concord residents are less represented, pointing out that they live in an integrated city and are not dependent on county services, as other smaller communities do.

“Honestly, when you look at these lines, you can not see twisted lines and arms that extend beyond large areas,” Gioia said as he explained why the map could not be perceived as political gerrymandering.

Burgis said that two supervisors representing a city is actually a good thing. In Antioch, for example, she and Glover can now double on their behalf.

“I’m not saying, ‘Well, where is it? I say, ‘Oh, it’s Antioch, I want to help them,’ she said. “We’re not looking at the lines.”

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