County preparing to redraw district boundaries

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Yolo County supervisors will have some decisions to make as they prepare to redraw district boundaries in the coming months. Sizable population growth in West Sacramento combined with smaller growth in parts of Davis and unincorporated areas of the county have left population imbalances among the five supervisorial districts. Under the law, districts must be relatively equal in population, deviating by no more than 5 percent from the mean, which, based on census data provided by Redistricting Insights, is about 43,200 residents per district. District populations currently range from a low of 40,246 to a high of 46,060. District 1, which is represented by Supervisor Oscar Villegas of West Sacramento, saw its population increase from 40,391 in 2010 to 46,060 in 2020, a 14 percent increase that exceeded any other district and makes the district 14.4 percent larger than the smallest district in the county. By comparison, District 4, represented by Supervisor Jim Provenza of Davis, grew by only 2.7 percent, from 40,502 to 41,615; and District 5, a largely rural district represented by Supervisor Angel Barajas of Woodland, grew by 1.9 percent, from 39,464 to 40,246. Woodland’s District 3, represented by Supervisor Gary Sandy, grew by 11.6 percent, from 39,614 to 44,203, while District 2, which is represented by Supervisor Don Saylor and includes much of Davis as well as Winters, grew by 8.3 percent, from 40,815 in 2010 to 44,230 in 2020. Matt Rexroad, a former Yolo County supervisor from Woodland who now serves as chief legal counsel for Redistricting Insights, said the county will likely have to find a way to move part of District 1 into either Sandy’s District 3 or Provenza’s District 4 as those are the two districts adjacent to District 1. “There’s always been two supervisors from Davis and now there are two from Woodland and one from West Sacramento,” Rexroad noted, “but West Sacramento is the fastest growing community in Yolo County, so some supervisor, whether it be one from Woodland or one from Davis, needs to go and take some of that area in West Sacramento.” Sandy’s district already includes the northern portion of the city of West Sacramento in addition to much of Woodland. But adding more of West Sacramento to his district would likely require moving some of his Woodland constituents into another district. That seat will be on the ballot in June 2022. Also coming into play will be the board’s stated priorities for redistricting, which include no more than two districts in a city as well as no more than two cities in a district. Meanwhile, much as they did during redistricting 10 years ago, board discussions will likely focus on where the city of Winters should be — in the rural 5th District or where it is now, in District 2 along with UC Davis and parts of the city of Davis. The implications could prove significant for the next election as District 2 is also scheduled to be on the June 2022 ballot. Saylor, who has represented District 2 for more than a decade, announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election next year. Among those who have said they are eyeing the seat are two Davis residents — Heidy Kellison and Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs — and Winters City Councilwoman Jesse Loren. Over the next few months, an advisory redistricting commission will be taking input from community members and ultimately presenting district maps for the Board of Supervisors to consider. The advisory commission is composed of five members directly appointed by supervisors — one from each district — and two more members selected by those five appointees. Villegas appointed Matthew Hargrove; Saylor appointed Bapu Vaitla; Sandy appointed Skip Davies; Provenza appointed Vanessa Errecarte; and Barajas appointed Marco Cesar Lizarraga. The two last members subsequently appointed by those five were Arina Ushakova and Yaminah Durham. Under guidelines provided by supervisors, the commission is expected to draft at least three alternative district maps for the board to consider, each with the following criteria: * No more than two districts intersecting a city * No more than two cities within each district * Each district includes incorporated and unincorporated areas * District boundaries shall not be drawn to disadvantage or isolate a minority population The county is required to complete the process by Dec. 15. Advisory commission meetings will be held in the coming months with maps expected to go to the Board of Supervisors for final approval in November.

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