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SLO County supervisors hear more public comment on redistricting maps

Posted at 3:37 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 20:51:15-05

The redrawing of district lines is a process done every ten years following new census data.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors held a third hearing on Friday to hear the community's opinion. It marked the second to last meeting before the supervisors are expected to make a final decision on the district map.

The future of the five supervisorial districts in San Luis Obispo County is up for debate.

23 redistricting maps ranging from status quo to major changes were submitted by the public. During Friday's hearing, a large crowd of long-time residents packed the supervisors' chambers to get their voices heard on the maps up for consideration.

"If we followed state guidelines, Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo City are merged together as a community of interest," said one community member.

Many who took the podium argued that Templeton needs to stay whole along with San Luis Obispo, which currently has three representatives.

"San Luis Obispo has been sliced and diced like so much tri-tip and believe me, you do not get representation when you are cut up like that," said another speaker.

"Poly has no business in Atascadero. There's nothing in common," added another.

Others slammed the previous redistricting in 2011.

"For 10 years, SLO County residents have been subjected to undemocratic, illegal and gerrymander district lines. I would strongly encourage you all to refresh your memory with our own constitution here."

The supervisors must follow the criteria of the 2019 Fair Maps Act. This includes keeping the districts relatively equal in size and contiguous while maintaining communities of interest, following city boundaries, and keeping districts compact.

While many pushed for a new map, some were against change, leaving another option for the supervisors to consider.

"I implore you to not make any significant changes to the existing district boundaries," said one speaker.

"You all can do the right thing and create a neutral situation where nobody is going to be mad," added another.

A fourth restricting hearing is set for Nov. 30. That's when a final map is expected to be approved.

The board is expected to choose between the two maps below, possibly a third option.

map 1.PNG
Option one created by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce
map 2.PNG
Option two created by Richard Patten

The redistricting process must be completed by Dec. 15 of this year.