State Senator Mark DeSaulnier to Host Office Hours in Clayton on Saturday, July 28

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier will host one-on-one office hours in Clayton on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Clayton Library, 6126 Clayton Road.

Do you have an idea, or need help with a  problem involving a state agency? Do you want to give your opinion on legislation that affects your community? Here's your opportunity for a personal meeting with Senator DeSaulnier.

No appointment is necessary. For more information, please call 925-942-6082.

First Draft of Redistricting Commission's Maps Released: Lamorinda Moved to District with 680 Corridor South to Tri-Valley

The first draft maps from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission were released on Friday. They are slightly different from the ones we saw earlier this week.

If these lines are implemented, Contra Costa's political landscape in Congress and the State Legislature will change — especially in East Contra Costa County, where Oakley is separated from the rest of the county in all three maps (click here to see the Commission's first draft maps, click here to see the maps with additional analysis from Redistricting Partners).

For example, for Congress, Contra Costa would find itself split into four Congressional Districts. Rep. George Miller's district (click here for pdf map) would fit entirely within Contra Costa County, but taking Rep. Miller to Lamorinda and Danville and San Ramon. Rep. John Garamendi would still represent a portion of Contra Costa County, but now he'd have Pinole and Hercules in a district including Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento Counties. Antioch, Brentwood, and Oakley are included in a San Joaquin District. Part of Richmond is included in an Oakland District currently represented by Rep. Barbara Lee.

For the State Assembly, Contra Costa would also find itself split into four districts. Western Contra Costa continues in a coastal district with Albany and Berkeley. Asm. Susan Bonilla would find herself in a district that drops Western Contra Costa and adding Brentwood. Oakley, Discovery Bay, Knightsen and Bethel Island would be in a district with Isleton, Vacaville, Dixon and extending up to Woodland. Asm. Joan Buchanan has been drawn into a district including Lamorinda, the 680 corridor south to Danville and San Ramon, and Alameda's Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore.

In the State Senate, Sen. Mark DeSaulnier will lose all of West Contra Costa County and Oakley, picking up Alameda's Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore in a district that is reminiscent to the one in which now-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson defeated sitting Senator Richard Rainey in 2000. West County again finds itself in a coastal district including parts of Alameda with Sen. Loni Hancock. Oakley is included in a district that is centered to the north — including Santa Rosa to the west, Dixon and Woodland to the north, and Lodi and Galt to the east.

Districts like that last one may have been among those that prompted KQED Radio's John Meyers to tweet:

The public often told during campaigns 2 reform #CARedistricting squiggly lines = gerrymandering. Today's maps show ain't always so.

Indeed.

Like, or don't like, what you see? You still have a chance to get involved. As the Commission's web site notes:

The Commission is now soliciting public comment on the draft districts. Testimony can be submitted online to votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov, by mail to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, 901 P Street, Suite 154-A, Sacramento, CA 95814 or by FAX at 916-651-5711. The Commission will be holding 11 public input hearings in June on the draft maps. The hearing schedule and the draft maps can be found at the Commission’s website at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.

Will Lamorinda Be Split Into Three Assembly Districts?

Redistricting Partners has posted visualizations of what could be staff drafts of new Congressional, State Assembly, and State Senate Districts being considered by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. As the site notes:

The Citizen’s Redistricting Commission has posted some less-than-clear maps of staff direction during their line drawing meetings over the past few days.  We have taken many of these maps, imported them into maptitude with the PDI voter dataset, and have for you some new maps and analysis you can email around to your friends.  There are three sections;

Congress: http://redistrictingpartners.com/crc-visualizes-congress-analyzed/

Assembly: http://redistrictingpartners.com/crc-visualizes-assembly-districts-analysis/

Senate: http://redistrictingpartners.com/crc-visualizes-state-senate-analyzed/

Take a look at how Contra Costa could be redistricted by clicking on the links above. As you can see, Lamorinda is split in this visualization: with parts of Orinda in a district with Berkeley through West Contra Costa (now Asm. Joan Buchanan) and another part of Orinda in a district with parts of Alameda County (now Asm. Mary Hayashi). 

Lafayette and Moraga would find themselves in a district going down through Danville and San Ramon into the Tri-Valley (now Asm. Joan Buchanan). That latter district could be one of the state's battlegrounds: with Democrats holding a 40-35 percent registration advantage.

The Redistricting Commission is scheduled to release its draft lines on Friday, June 10. Needless to say, that will prove an important day in California politics–and it may even have an impact on the state budget negotiations as legislators see who their new voters may be.

Senator Mark DeSaulnier to Chair Three New Select Committees

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced that he has been designated the chair of three new select committees: the Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government, the Select Committee on Restoring California’s Middle Class, and the Select Committee on Small Business and the Underground Economy.

To learn more about these new Select Committees, and what Senator DeSaulnier hopes to accomplish with them, please click here to read the press release from his office.

Senator Mark DeSaulnier Discusses State Budget, Government Reform

Senator Mark DeSaulnier spoke to the Contra Costa Council on October 1 and spoke about the state budget, the need to reform California government, and his plans for the next session. 

Contra Costa Times Political Editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen attended the luncheon. She wrote a blog post reporting on DeSaulnier’s remarks. She also recorded the presentation, which you can watch here.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1