San Lorenzo Express News

San Lorenzo Could Lose Political Clout
When Supervisoral Districts Change

JULY 15, 2001

San Lorenzo is likely to end up with a different county supervisor when the Alameda County board of supervisors redraws the boundaries of supervisoral districts next month. Changes in the districts are required by August 21 to reflect population changes recorded in the latest U.S. census.

The county has grown by almost 165,000 people since the 1990 census. To equalize the populations in each district, boundaries of the northern districts will have to shift to the south and east to taken on more people because the greatest growth in population has occurred in the southern and eastern portions of the county.

A variety of plans have been submitted to the board for consideration. These plans were presented at public meetings throughout the county in the past several weeks. They can be seen at the Alameda County website, along with more information about redistricting requirements.

At present two supervisors, Gail Steele (2nd district) and Nate Miley (4th district), represent unincorporated urban areas of the county (see map of supervisoral districts). Supervisor Steele, whose district includes San Lorenzo, has publically stated that she cannot see how San Lorenzo can be retained in her district, given the many factors to be considered in redrawing district lines.

The most important issue facing San Lorenzo and all other urban unincorporated areas of the county (Ashland, Cherryland, and Castro Valley), is whether these areas will continue to be represented by two supervisors. Some citizen groups outside the unincorporated areas have called for lumping all the San Lorenzo-Castro Valley area into a single district. Supervisor Steele has stated that she believes the urban unincorporated areas must continue to be represented by two supervisors, not one, if these areas are to have a strong voice on the county board.

By law the board of supervisors must adopt district changes by August 21. The board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday July 24 at 11 a.m. at the board chambers, 5th floor, 1221 Oak Street, Oakland (across from the old county courthouse facing Lake Merritt). The first reading of a proposed ordinance changing the district boundaries will be at the Aug. 7 meeting of the board. The second reading of the ordinance will be at the board's meeting on Aug. 14. Written comments on changes in the districts should be mailed to the Redistricting Committee, c/o Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 1221 Oak St., Room 536, Oakland 94612, or may be submitted via the county's website.