Split decision: New maps have Gilroy in two districts

 

A state citizens committee has given the final thumbs up to a
new set of maps that will change California’s political landscape
and split Gilroy into two congressional districts.
A state citizens committee has given the final thumbs up to a new set of maps that will change California’s political landscape and split Gilroy into two congressional districts.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission on Monday announced new maps redrawing boundaries for the state senate and state assembly, along the U.S House of Representatives, which now bisects the Garlic Capital.

In that new congressional outline, most of western Gilroy will share District 19 with San Martin, Morgan Hill and San Jose. Gilroy’s eastern edge, however, will call Santa Cruz and Watsonville neighbors in District 20.

Previously, Gilroy shared District 15 with Los Gatos, Cupertino, Campbell, Santa Clara and Milpitas.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo will remain Gilroy’s assembly representative, though the district changes from No. 28 to No. 30, and the Garlic Capital and communities south of San Jose will now be isolated from the heart of Silicon Valley and much of Santa Clara County.

In the new state senate boundaries, Gilroy will be in the same region as Watsonville, Santa Cruz and other cities, extending as far south down the coastline as San Luis Obispo. In the new congressional map, a sliver-like district shared by Gilroy, Los Gatos and Santa Clara goes away, as the western part of Gilroy joins its nearby neighbors to the north.

The maps are redrawn every 10 years, but this was the first time changes were handed down since voters stripped redistricting powers from the state legislature.

In November 2008, voters passed Proposition 11, which gave a citizen commission the right to draft the state’s senate and assembly boundaries. Two years later, a successful Proposition 20 vote extended the commission’s right to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.

The Commission is comprised of 14 members: five Republicans, five Democrats and four who declined to state a political affiliation, according to the commission’s website, “We Draw The Lines.”

The maps will be in affect for the November 2012 elections.

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