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A Winters Express opinion column

By Richard Casavecchia
Special to the Express

In case you missed it, recently there was a redistricting meeting with one of the at-large commissioners for the Yolo County redistricting committee at the public service building. The commissioners held their regular meeting Monday of this week.

If you are unaware, since we just had a census, the political boundaries within our state are being redrawn. For us in Yolo County, that means the districts will change. Do you hate that we share a county supervisor with Davis? Me too. We are too small to truly matter to the wet noodle we have representing us because his primary constituency is Davis and what they want, we get.

Honestly, we have pretty much nothing in common with Davis. Winters is a friendly rural town, full of farmers and restaurants with an economy that is largely based on tourism, food, nuts, and the fermentation of various fruits and grains. Roots run deep here, whereas Davis is largely transient in the sense that half the town will move on within four years and politically the town often likes to expand the left boundary of politics.

It certainly feels like Winters was gerrymandered into District 2.

If we use the recall as a data point (as of the end of September), Davis voted approximately 85 percent against removing Newsom. Winters is more evenly split on the issue, with only 53.6 percent opposing. However, if we combine Winters with the rural county District 5, we are nearly perfectly aligned with the entire district on the recall issue.

I used the tool on the county website to mock up what I think our districts should be. You can view it here: https://districtr.org/COI/63499. Each of the five has about 43K people in my draft county, equal populations was a focus for me.

If we bound the district by the western county line, southern county line, County Road 96, moving east on Road 31 then north on 98 until West Cross Street in Woodland, following that to Highway 113 until it hits I-5, and taking everything south of I-5 to the northern County line, that would be a pretty good district for Winters.

After equalizing populations between all five districts, I then looked at the precinct results for the areas within the district I described above, and was pleased to discover Winters lines up perfectly with it.

That proposed district five was 53.2 percent opposing removal of Newsom, only 0.4 percent different than Winters. The district would also be 52.5 percent Hispanic vs 52.3 percent in Winters according to the county’s mapping tool.

So, we have political agreement on the most current most local issue on which we all voted, similar lifestyle, and nearly identical ethnic makeup between Winters and the proposed District 5. Leaps and bounds better than the current mismatch we have with Davis which is 14 percent Hispanic, 26 percent Asian, and 58 percent white – far less politically diverse, and no interest in farming.

However, the county website currently has four published draft plans. Of the four, I think plan two is the best not only for Winters but for all of rural Yolo County as it brings more of the rural population into District 5. Plan one would be my second choice.

Councilwoman Jesse Loren made a recent statement on social media, acknowledging that “If Winters is moved to District 5 it would be something many in our rural community desire.”

Assuming Winters and the rural community would rather go back to District 5, then that’s what elected representatives from those areas should advocate for, the will of the people. I hope our City Council weighs in.

Last week Charley gave us some historical background on the District 5 to District 2 history. It is worth the quick read for germane background information. I would encourage anyone who feels we should not be included in a Davis district to submit a public comment to the redistricting commission.

If we stay in District 2 we will likely wind up with yet another Davis resident representing us and we will continue to be referred to as “West Davis” with no meaningful representation. But you can be sure the taxation will continue.

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