2021 Redistricting Plan

Final - 2021 County of Orange Redistricting Plan

From June 22, 2021 Board Meeting
 

2021 Decennial Redistricting Process

Every ten years, local governments use new Census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each board member represents about the same number of constituents. In Orange County, the Board of Supervisors is responsible for drawing supervisorial districts. The 2021 redistricting process will use data from the 2020 Census, which has been significantly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The expected release of adjusted data from the State by the end of September 2021 has created a very compressed timeline for local jurisdictions to complete the redistricting process by no later than December 15, 2021, to allow for those districts to be ready for use in the June 7, 2022 primary election.

Criteria for Drawing Supervisorial District Lines

The State has developed mandatory criteria to be used in the drawing of supervisorial district lines. District lines shall be adopted using the following criteria in the following order of priority:

(1) to the extent practicable, supervisorial districts shall be geographically contiguous (each supervisorial district should share a common border with the next),

(2) to the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,

(3) to the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division

(4) easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.)

(5) to the extent practicable, and where is does not conflict with the preceding criteria, lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.

(Election Code § 21500)

Public Outreach About Redistricting Process

The County will develop a plan to engage communities in the redistricting process through public hearings and workshops, as well as public outreach including to non-English-speaking communities. The County will reach out to local media to explain and publicize the redistricting process. Also, the County will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. The County has created a dedicated email address, redistricting@ocgov.com, for the public to submit questions or comments regarding redistricting.

Redistricting Website

The County will develop and maintain a dedicated webpage for all information about the redistricting process, which will include public notices about redistricting hearings and workshops, maps posted online before adoption and create a dedicated web page for all relevant information about the redistricting process. The website will be available in all of the County’s threshold languages. The website will remain available for the required 10-year period.

Public Hearings/Workshops

Although State law requires that the County hold a minimum of four public hearings throughout the 2021 redistricting process, the County plans to hold at least one public hearing/workshop in each of the five existing supervisorial districts in August 2021 in addition to the public hearings scheduled for November 2021 at which maps will be considered. In addition, in early July, a meeting has been added to provide information to trusted messengers, such as community-based organizations, government entities and the media, in order to spread the word about the district workshops and encourage the public to engage in the process. The Registrar of Voters is also hosting a Redistricting Academy that will provide another opportunity for the public to learn more about the technical aspects of redistricting. The public will be able to attend virtually and all meetings will comply with current guidance regarding gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A draft timeline of these meetings and workshops is below and will be posted on the County’s redistricting website. These meetings will provide information on redistricting and the County’s 2021 redistricting process, as well as provide the opportunity for the public to provide feedback on communities of interest.

Public hearings and workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing or workshop.

Public Assistance in Preparing Redistricting Proposals

The County also plans to make redistricting public participation kits available on the website, as well as workstations available at public libraries, if allowable under COVID-19 protocols at the time. The public will have access to the web-based Esri Redistricting Solution and associated training materials. The Center for Demographic Research, the County’s Redistricting Support Services Consultant, will also be available to assist the general public in completing redistricting plans.

Language Access

The County of Orange’s Language Access Policy states that the County of Orange (County) is committed to meeting the diverse language needs of its members of the public regardless of their level of English proficiency. Under the Policy, the County will take steps to encourage residents, including those in underrepresented communities and non-English speaking communities, to participate in the redistricting public review process. These steps shall include: (1) providing information to media organizations that provide County news coverage, including media organizations that serve language-minority communities; and (2) providing information through good government, civil rights, civic engagement, and community groups or organizations that are active in the County, including those active in language-minority communities, and those that have requested to be notified concerning County redistricting.

Accordingly, the County will endeavor to publish health, public safety, and other critical programs and services information translated into the most prevalent languages spoken in the County as determined by the most recent United States Census, for example: Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. In accordance with the policy, when producing large and complex documents in which making translation is financially and/or logistically unfeasible, the County will pay for and provide translated summary documents (printed and/or posted).

Records Keeping/Retention

The County must maintain the required redistricting website for ten years. Record of every public comment and governing body comment must be made available to the public within two weeks of the public hearing or workshop and these will be posted on the County’s Redistricting website, in accordance with the State’s requirements.