As the Santa Barbara County Citizen’s Independent Redistricting Commission gets closer to selecting and adopting a new boundary map by Dec. 8, individual cities within the county are also in the process of engaging communities to create new district maps.
Redistricting, in which local governments redraw district lines, takes place every 10 years using new data from the U.S. Census Bureau in order to show how populations have changed since the last census count.
The districts determine how communities will be represented in local governments, as each district elects representatives for city councils or, in the case of county districts, the Board of Supervisors.
The idea behind redistricting is to ensure fair representation with each district having equal population numbers and by keeping communities of interest together.
While a new district map for Santa Barbara County must be selected and finalized by Dec. 15, cities have some more time to complete the redistricting process, with an April 17 deadline.
The following is information for each city undergoing the redistricting process in Santa Barbara County.
Since 2015, Santa Barbara has been electing council members with district-based elections, and it will again be drawing new district boundaries, utilizing the city’s Independent Redistricting Commission, which was appointed by the Santa Barbara City Council in March.
The commission will be holding six public hearings, one for each district, beginning Jan. 8 at Franklin Elementary School, 1111 E. Mason St. After the six hearings, the Independent Redistricting Commission will meet to select a map on March 30, and the City Council will adopt the map during its April 12 meeting.
Goleta is one of the cities in Santa Barbara County implementing district-based elections for the first time and is in the process of creating a boundary map of four districts.
The Goleta City Council is inviting members of the public to submit draft maps that reflect their neighborhoods and communities of interest.
The next community workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 during the Public Engagement Commission meeting, and the deadline to submit draft maps is Jan. 6.
The Goleta City Council will select and adopt the final district map on March 1 during the regular council meeting.
Draft maps already submitted can be viewed on the City of Goleta’s Draw Goleta website.
The City of Carpinteria, which has elected council members in the past with at-large elections, is in the process of creating a district map in order to switch to district-based elections.
The Carpinteria City Council determined that the city will be divided into five districts and is asking for input from the public, inviting community members to submit their own maps through DistrictR.
Since November, the Carpinteria council has been holding pre-map hearings and will begin hearings of district plans in January.
According to the City of Carpinteria Project Portal, the City Council will select and adopt a district map in March.
Solvang is also making the transition from at-large elections to district-based elections, with the process beginning last August.
The Solvang City Council will select a final map on March 28 and adopt the map on April 11.
Solvang community members are invited to participate in the districting process by emailing their thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting during the public comment period at the upcoming public hearings.
Buellton, which is made up of four districts, began its redistricting process in June, and two draft map hearings will be held on Jan. 27 and Feb. 24 .
Buellton residents can submit draft maps on DistrictR until the Jan. 11 deadline.
The Buellton City Council then will adopt the new district map on March 10.
Lompoc’s first and current district map was adopted in December 2017. The city is now drawing a new map of its four districts with its next meetings on Feb. 2 and Feb. 16 at Lompoc City Hall, 100 Civic Center Plaza.
Lompoc residents are encouraged to participate in the redistricting process by submitting public comments and draft maps to the City Clerk’s Office. More information can be found on Lompoc’s redistricting webpage.
Santa Maria is now in the process of drawing new boundary lines for its four districts. Two public hearings have already taken place, on Aug. 3 and Sept. 7, and two more redistricting hearings will take place on March 2 and March 15.
Video recordings of each meeting will be posted on Santa Maria’s Meeting Portal the day after each meeting.