Encinitas council selects new redistricting map

People living in the middle of Encinitas may find that they are now in a new electoral district for city council members, but most residents will not experience a change under the new boundaries unanimously approved by council. municipal on Wednesday, March 9.

“This card causes the least travel,” Mayor Catherine Blakespear said of why she preferred it over the roughly 40 other options.

Council members used the phrase “light touch” repeatedly when outlining their goals for the redistricting process on Wednesday, March 9. The phrase was quite rightly coined by Planning Commissioner Bruce Ehlers at a recent town hall meeting, council member Tony Kranz said.

Ehlers, a resident of the Olivenhain area of ​​the city, had asked the council to do everything possible to keep the existing council district lines unchanged, as they were originally drawn with the aim of preserving communities. city ​​landmarks of Cardiff, Leucadia, Old Encinitas and Olivenhain.

Encinitas has four council members who represent individual areas of the city, plus a mayor who is elected citywide. The city is currently divided into three coastal districts and an inland area, and the new map will preserve that. Known as map 69847e because it is a revised version of an earlier proposed map, it can be viewed on page 11 of a staff report at https://encinitas.granicus.com/ MetaViewer.php?view_id=7&event_id=3528&meta_id=135785

It alters the boundary lines along the eastern edges of the three coastal districts, razing part of a panhandle section of District 3 (the Cardiff region) and redistributing parts to District 1, which contains the Leucadia region, and to District 2, which contains Old Encinitas. Under the new design, the northernmost edge of the District 3 beggar area is Encinitas Boulevard rather than the old Via Montoro neighborhood.

Cities with district-based voting systems are required to redraw their district boundaries every ten years after the federal government conducts its population census. Lines should be adjusted to reflect population changes in districts. Under state law, districts may have slightly different population counts, but the variance must be less than 10% or the districts are not considered “presumed to comply” with Supreme Court case law. .

The newly approved map for Encinitas has a spread of 7.45%.

Encinitas began its redistricting process last fall and held four public hearings on the various proposed cards, many of which were created by the general public. The map proposals were reviewed by consultants hired by the city to ensure they would comply with state laws, then presented to the council earlier this year.

Encinitas has had its district-based electoral system for council members since 2017. Like many of its California counterparts, the city switched to the system in response to a litigation threat letter from Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman, who argues that electoral systems as a whole dilute the votes of minority voters and thus violate state law.

The new boundary lines will be in effect for municipal elections later this year.

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