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San Luis Obispo County redistricting maps narrowed down to two final options

Posted at 6:06 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 22:25:54-05

San Luis Obispo County is nearing the end of a long road to redistricting.

Every 10 years, areas are legally obligated to adjust district lines, if population growth calls for it, in order to assure equal representation.

"We did not have that growth in San Luis Obispo. Interestingly enough, we had less than 10 percent population growth which means, legally, we don’t have to change anything," said Dawn Ortiz-Legg, District 3 Supervisor.

Still, several new maps were proposed.

The list of maps has been narrowed down to two final options.

One was put forth by the SLO Chamber of Commerce and the other was submitted by a man named Richard Patten.

The Chamber of Commerce-backed map only has minimal changes.

"We divided up a map that’s pretty similar to where we're at today but starts to take into account what we call communities of interest," explained Jim Dantona, President and CEO of the SLO Chamber of Commerce.

While that option aims to keep like communities together under the same representative, Patten's map divides areas with dramatic changes.

Ortiz-Legg, who did not vote for either map, says those changes are cause for concern.

"Because we don’t have a reason. Legally, we are compliant with the district lines that are drawn. For them to take a radical change like this, it only reflects one reason and that would be to go into the next election cycle with an advantage," she said.

KSBY News reporter Taylor Hillo reached out to Richard Patten and the SLO County Republican Party but did not hear back.

Community members are still able to make their voices heard by showing up to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday or by writing letters to officials.

The final decision will be made on December 17 and the new map would go into effect in 2022.