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Plan calls for SCV to divide

Local officials say lawsuits will be probable result of commission’s maps

Posted: July 29, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: July 29, 2011 1:30 a.m.

The proposed map shows the latest revision of the state Senate districts for the California Legislature, which was drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

 

The Santa Clarita Valley would be split between two state Senate districts if the latest maps for California’s electoral landscape stand.

Despite continued lobbying by Santa Clarita Valley residents to keep the valley whole, recent maps from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission show a split community in the state Senate.

“It didn’t make sense to me not to keep Santa Clarita together like they did for the congressional and Assembly maps,” state Sen. Tony Strickland, who represents part of the Santa Clarita Valley, said Thursday.

“What it means is that local residents may get confused as to who their state senator is,” he said.

Citizen commissioners are drawing boundaries for electoral districts to reflect the 2010 Census numbers. The Santa Clarita Valley was split between two Senate districts during the previous redistricting process to reflect 2000 numbers.

State Sen. Sharon Runner, who represents the other state Senate district, said she believes the split may be challenged in court.

“Quite honestly, there will be lawsuits,” she said Thursday. “They keep doing this to Santa Clarita.

“The commissioners didn’t listen to the people they were supposed to,” she said. “The community worked hard on this.”

The commission is expected to release all completed maps by Aug. 14.

The “final draft” of local senate seats splits the Santa Clarita Valley from north to south along The Old Road south of Highway 126.

The dividing line then moves east from The Old Road along Magic Mountain Parkway, then south along McBean Parkway to Orchard Village Road.

The line then jogs along the dry river wash of the South Fork of the Santa Clara River to Railroad Avenue and Main Street all the way to Sierra Highway.

Commission-watchers had predicted the initial proposed map for Senate districts — which kept the Santa Clarita Valley intact — would not stand.

That district stretched from the Los Angeles-Kern county lines to Malibu.

Although the proposed district lines posted online Thursday were described as “final,” changes can still be made.

Besides state Senate, the commission is redrawing boundaries for the state Assembly and Board of Equalization, as well as the House of Representatives.

The commission is a group of citizens appointed under new state law and approved by voters as a way to take politics out of the process of redrawing districts.

Every 10 years, new district lines have to be drawn to reflect new census numbers. Previously, those lines were drawn by elected legislators, who often had an interest in preserving their power bases.

The 14-member commission was formed in an effort to better reflect the character of the state’s many communities and to end gerrymandering.

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