A Proposal to Redistrict California: Central Coast

This is part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on the Central Coast region. There are four congressional districts covered here.

CA-17 (Dark Slate Blue):

Population – 45.5% white, 1.7% black, 43.4% Hispanic, 6.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 2.8% other

Majority-Minority District

This district is centered around Santa Cruz and Monterey – affluent, liberal coastal communities. It also includes some more Latino inland communities, such as Salinas and Gilroy. Gilroy specifically has little in common with Santa Cruz or Monterey; given the shape of the other districts, however, there is nowhere else but CA-17 for it to go.

CA-23 (Aquamarine):

Population – 50.7% white, 2.1% black, 40.5% Hispanic, 3.9% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 2.3% other

New White-Majority

CA-23 is one of the more easy districts to draw; it starts at the end of CA-17 and then simply adds population until the end of Santa Barbara County. Unlike its previous incarnation, CA-23 is majority-white. However, the proposed CA-24 is majority-minority (unlike the previous CA-24) – so there’s no regression.

CA-24 (Indigo):

Population – 48.3% white, 1.7% black, 41.1% Hispanic, 6.3% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 2.3% other

Over-18 Population – 53.1% white, 36.3% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Minority

CA-24 starts where CA-23 ends. It then stretches along the coast of Ventura County; the three centers of population are in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Thousand Oaks. To the best of my knowledge, nobody else has mapped Ventura County in this elegant, cleverly compact way. The only weakness is that Thousand Oaks is put in a different district from Simi Valley and Moorpark, both of which have a lot in common with it.

CA-25 (Pale Violet Red, located in the center-right of the map):

Population – 53.0% white, 5.1% black, 30.7% Hispanic, 7.9% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% other

CA-25 takes in the less urban parts of Ventura and Los Angeles County. Most of its population is located in Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley. Unfortunately, Lancaster is split from its sister city Palmdale – the two really ought to be in one district, but I couldn’t find a way to do it given the constraints I put on this map.

Final Thoughts

Most of the Central Coast keeps communities of interest together extremely well, certainly more effectively than the previous gerrymander. Nevertheless, there are some bad community splits. These splits are ultimately a function of three decisions: the decision not to split San Francisco, the decision to create an Asian-majority district in the South Bay, and the decision not to cross county lines into Central Valley.

The next post will take a look at Los Angeles County.

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One Response to A Proposal to Redistrict California: Central Coast

  1. Ed says:

    I agree with most of this. San Benito County, a rural county that follows the old mission trail southeast of San Jose and which is majority Latino, is hard to place. But I disagree with putting it with the Santa Barbara County/ San Luis Obispo (sp?) County combination. Ideally it should go with Santa Clara County, but just about any other combination is better, on my map it wound up with Monterrey and Santa Cruz County, which happens to form a district with at least a high Latino plurality voting age population. It makes much more sense in terms of transportation links and communities of interest for the Monterrey based district to cross the coastal mountains into San Benito than into Santa Clara.

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