by Anthony Robert
California recently underwent redistricting in the wake of the 2020 United States Census, and Fullerton is certain to be affected through potential changes in the Congressional and State legislatures.
The new maps will take effect beginning with the November 2022 midterm elections. Although all 50 states are currently undergoing the redistricting process, California’s method of using a bipartisan, appointed commission of citizens is unique, being shared with only a few other states such as Colorado and Michigan, according to Sara Sadhwani, a Commissioner on the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. Throughout most of the country, Sadhwani said, redistricting is done by state legislatures.
As per California’s constitution, State Assembly and Senate districts must contain equal population amounts, and as mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act, various groups that have traditionally been denied voting access must be available to participate and select the candidates of their choice. In addition to these two core requirements, many communities throughout the state of California often seek to remain together in the same district in order to increase their power and clout in the political process. All of these make redistricting a difficult balancing act, and ultimately, Sadhwani said, “it’s impossible to make everyone happy.”
In the California State Assembly, Fullerton is currently part of the 65th District, which is represented by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, and is also represented by Senator Josh Newman in the State Senate’s 29th District. In the House of Representatives, Fullerton is currently in California’s 39th Congressional District, being represented by Rep. Young Kim. All of these current districts contain the entire city of Fullerton, ensuring that all the city’s residents elect the same candidates.
However, Fullerton’s representation will not remain intact with this decade’s redistricting efforts, highlighting the paramount importance the two above components play throughout the districting process. Per the latest draft of the House of Representatives redistricting map, as displayed by We Draw the Lines, the commission’s official website, Fullerton now appears to be split into two parts along Malvern Ave. and Chapman Ave., with the section of the City north of Malvern/Chapman being part of the new 45th District and the area south of Malvern/Chapman being part of the new 46th District.
The division of Fullerton’s new State Senate districts is also divided along Chapman, but with some modifications from the House map. Unlike the House boundaries, the State Senate boundary begins on Euclid St., on the boundary with the city of La Habra and goes southward until reaching the old Union Pacific right-of-way next to Bastanchury Rd., following that until reaching Chapman/Malvern. The divide then follows Chapman east until reaching N. Placentia Ave., following that until reaching Topaz Lane, going eastward until ending at Bradford Ave. on the City’s boundary with Placentia. North of this boundary will be Senate District 37, while south of it will be Senate District 34.
The new State Assembly map begins on Gilbert St. on the boundary with La Habra, goes south to Castlewood Dr., and turns further south on Parks Rd., continuing on Bastanchury until reaching Chapman/Malvern. The boundary then follows Chapman going east until Harbor Boulevard, where it goes slightly north, jogs around Hillcrest Park, and then follows Dorothy Lane to Acacia Park and the Fullerton Creek Greenbelt, where the boundary joins Yorba Linda Blvd up to the 57 Freeway. The boundary then follows the freeway to Placentia Ave., where it finally terminates at Orangethorpe Ave. on the City’s border with Anaheim. North of this boundary will be Assembly District 59, while south of it will be Assembly District 67.
The new maps were officially approved by the Commission at a small, livestreamed ceremony on December 27 and have been sent to California’s Secretary of State.
In short, these changes mean that, depending on which part of the City they live, Fullerton residents will be represented by different politicians in the federal House of Representatives as well as in the State Assembly and State Senate. To learn more visit www.wedrawthelinesca.org.
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