SBCAN Encourages You to Apply Now for County Citizens’ Redistricting Commission

Application form: http://www.countyofsb.org/asset.c/5480

Applications are due August 21st

Santa Barbara County is seeking 11 extraordinary people to draw the boundaries for the five supervisors’ districts. These districts will have a strong influence over policy direction for the entire County over the next decade.

To comply with the Constitution’s guarantee of one person, one vote, political districts are redrawn every 10 years after the census to ensure that each district has roughly the same population. If the 2020 Census shows that Santa Barbara County’s population is around a half million, then each supervisor’s district will have about 100,000 people. But how should they be grouped for elections?

Until this year, the supervisors made the final decision on district boundaries. Some complained that the supervisors were choosing their voters rather than the voters choosing their supervisors. So, in the November 2018 election, Santa Barbara County voters approved an initiative—YOU Draw the Lines (Measure G)—that creates an 11-person Citizens’ Independent Redistricting Commission to adjust the supervisors’ district boundaries.

The process was designed to select independent, representative, and qualified residents to take on this critical task. The final 11-member Commission must reflect Santa Barbara County’s racial, ethnic, geographic, age and gender diversity and be as proportional as possible to the actual voter registration of the County.

The commission will provide an open and transparent process that enables full public consideration and comment on the drawing of district lines. Commissioners will conduct themselves with integrity and fairness to create an independent and unbiased map (see the official document).

SELECTION PROCESS FOR COMMISSION MEMBERS (to be open and transparent)

  1. Applications are due August 21st.
  2. The list of qualified candidates will be posted online for public review. Names are already being posted. The full list will be available for 30 days after the due date.
  3. By email, the public can submit comments about the candidates (CIRCCandidateFeedback@co.santa-barbara.ca.us).
  4. The Elections Official will select the 45 most qualified applicants, 9 from each current supervisor district, based on qualifications described below.
  5. By random drawing, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney will select the first 5 Commission members, one from the pool of 9 in each current supervisor district (likely to occur in late September or early October 2020).
  6. The first five Commission members will select six more members from the remaining pool of 40, with one from each of the five current districts and one at-large, to achieve a Commission representative of the geographic, demographic and political diversity of the County. (Commission selection must be complete by December 31, 2020 so several meetings are likely to occur before the end of the year to select the six additional members.)

COMMISSION DUTIES—Ordinance sets up an open and transparent public process for redrawing the Supervisorial District Boundaries.

Meetings

      Prior to drawing maps, seven public meetings, at least one in each current supervisor district.

      After drafting map alternatives, seven public meetings, at least one in each current supervisor district, to receive public comment before Commission selects final map.

      A public process will allow individuals and groups to develop and submit maps to the Commission.

      Most meetings will be broadcast live, and each meeting will be recorded for public viewing. Spanish language translation will be available at all meetings.

Timing—Due to delays in the 2020 Census caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the State of California may shift the 2022 election from March to June. If this occurs

        Public meetings would take place from July 2021 through October 2021.

      The Final Map due to County Elections by December 2021.

Resources—Technical resources will be available to the Commission for drawing maps and for legal counsel.

Questions—Please email any questions to redistricting@countysb.org

BASIC ELIGIBILITY

  1. Resident of Santa Barbara County
  2. Registered to vote in Santa Barbara County
  3. Voted in the County in at least 1 of the last 3 statewide elections
  4. Have not changed party registration in the last 5 years

QUALIFICATIONS—Experience that demonstrates

  1. Ability to be impartial (see “Disqualifiers”, below)
  2. Appreciation for the diverse demographics and geography of the County(after a candidate is selected at random from a qualified pool from each of the 5 current supervisor districts, the group will select 6 more so that the Commission as a whole reflects the demographic diversity of the County and is proportional to the actual voter registration)
  3. Analytic skills relevant to the redistricting process and voting rights as well as the ability to apply state and federal legal requirements

Districts

      Districts must comply with the US Constitution by having relatively equal populations

      Consideration must be given to

o   Topography;

o   Geography;

o   Cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory;

o   Maintaining communities of interest together.

      Districts must be geographically contiguous (The geographic integrity of any city, local neighborhood, local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division).

DISQUALIFIERS (to assure independence from the Board of Supervisors, political parties, campaign contributors or other special financial interests; see State Elections Code § 23003(c) & (d))

If over past 8 years person or family member (spouse, child, in-law, parent or sibling) has run for or been appointed to County elective office

If over past 8 years person or spouse has

      Served as an officer, employee or consultant to

o   a candidate or campaign committee for County office

o   political party

      Served an elected or appointed member of a political party central committee or

      Been registered to lobby the County

      Contributed $500 or more in a year to any candidate for elective office in the County

If over the past 4 years any family member other than the spouse

      Served as an officer, employee or consultant to

o   a candidate or campaign committee for County office

o   political party

      Was elected or appointed as member of a political party central committee

      Was registered to lobby the County, or

      Gave $500 or more in a year to any candidate for elective office in the County

ADDITIONAL DISQUALIFIERS (see County ordinance)

If over past 8 years person had a significant financial interest in any business entity that gave $500 or more in a year to

      Any candidate for County elective office or

      Any controlled committee, primarily formed committee, general purpose committee, independent expenditure committee that spent funds to support or oppose a candidate for County elective office

If over past 8 years person or family member gave $500 or more in a year to any of the following that has spent more than $1000 to support or oppose a candidate for County elective office:

      Any candidate-controlled committee,

      Primarily formed committee,

      General purpose committee,

      Independent expenditures committee, or

      Other political action committee

If over past 8 years person or family member served as board member, officer, paid or volunteer staff, including member communications, or had significant influence on political committee required to register with the California Secretary of State that spent more than $500 to support or oppose a candidate for County elective office.

LIMITATIONS, IF SELECTED (to limit self-dealing, see Elections Code § 23003(e))

A serving member of the Commission may not

      Endorse, work for, volunteer for, or make a campaign contribution to, a candidate for an elective office of the County

      Be a candidate for County elective office of the local jurisdiction

o   within 5 years of appointment to the Commission

o   if the boundaries adopted by the Commission still exist and have not been re-adopted by a subsequent commission or a legislative body on recommendation of a subsequent commission

For 4 years after appointment, a member of the Commission may not

      Accept employment as a staff member or consultant for an elected official or candidate for elective office of the County

      Receive a noncompetitively bid contract with the local jurisdiction.

      Register as a lobbyist for the local jurisdiction.

For 2 years after appointment, a member of the Commission may not accept an appointment to an office of the County.


We hope you will apply to be on the commission.

Ken Hough
SBCAN Executive Director
ken@sbcan.org
805.563.0463
http://www.sbcan.org/

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