BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The redistricting process is a 10-year occurrence that uses U.S. Census data to redraw political maps. Each district has to have the same population, an important feature so that each supervisor represents an equal voice in the community.
“Now is the time where the county will be collecting as much community input as possible," said Elizabeth Stitt with Redistricting Partners at the July 19 workshop.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the release of census data, which makes it difficult to finalize these plans when the largest factor is population.
“September 23, that’s when we expect to get the Census data for the county to state drafting maps.”
Another factor in redistricting is gerrymandering, which can happen when a community is split up into multiple districts diluting the political power of people in those communities.
“As a lifelong resident of Bakersfield, I have yet to feel my community has been adequately represented by a supervisor," A local resident in District 3 said in an online submission. "I would like to see the new boundaries respect the continuity of the well-established and distinct community.”
While the county is looking to keep communities of interested and like-minded people together, this cannot include reasons surrounding political affiliations.
“Please do not divide us by ethnicity, race, or social class," said another resident. "I’m a Kern County resident I’d like to be represented by Kern County like-minded people.”
Residents can go online to https://districtr.org/california and draw out a map reflecting your community of interest.
The workshop is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Kern County Board Chambers. You can also join the meeting here.