Board of Supervisors move forward with map to redraw Fresno County districts

Jessica Harrington Image
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
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Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors considered three maps that were recommended by the Fresno County Advisory Redistricting Commission.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Reshaping representation across Fresno County.

Tuesday the Fresno County Board of Supervisors considered three maps that were recommended by the Fresno County Advisory Redistricting Commission.

Those maps included one submitted by the public, Public 101B, and two submitted by the technical consultant hired by the county, National Demographics Corporation, NDC 120 and NDC 121.

The NDC said all three maps follow the California Fair Maps Act, which includes community input.

One of the main focuses of redistricting was balancing the population in each district.

Currently, District 5 has a much higher population where as District 4 is the most underpopulated.

The recommended maps were met with pushback from the community.

The Fresno Inclusive Families Coalition released a statement saying the recommended maps violate the Fair Maps Act by dividing families and communities of interest.

The creators of maps Public 116 and Public 118 spoke out Tuesday asking for the board to consider their maps, arguing the recommended maps protected the incumbents and don't consider underserved populations.

"I believe map 116 is the best because it complies with the new law and it's more likely to guarantee that our future elected representatives will listen to and respond to community concerns from county roads to child protective services," said former Fresno County Supervisor Juan Arambula.

During the public comment period, around two dozen people spoke, mostly in favor of Public 116.

"We're supporting that map because that map represents our communities. They care about our communities. They put my community in the top," said Olga Rosa.

Despite the large turnout, the only member of the board who wanted to consider Public 116 was Supervisor Sal Quintero.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes called out issues with the map in rural communities saying it split up the Caruthers and Riverdale School Districts.

Supervisor Nathan Magsig said he wanted to depend on the commission's recommendation and move forward with one of those maps.

"My concern is if we choose to start considering maps that weren't recommended or bring in new maps that haven't been fully vetted, really, we need to start a public outreach process all over again and, really, that could delay the process," Magsig said.

Ultimately the board decided to move forward with Public 101B.

According to the NDC, Public 101B balances the populations and still keeps three of the districts as majority minority.

It will go before the board again on November 16 with modified options for the board to choose.