San Rafael Political Maps May Remain Unchanged
San Rafael officials are set to leave the city’s electoral district maps unchanged because the existing boundaries meet legal requirements.
The city council held a third public hearing on Tuesday on how the city’s neighborhoods could be redesigned. Even though San Rafael adopted its district map only four years ago, district boundaries need to be reassessed after the national census to ensure that each district has approximately equal numbers of residents.
No members of the public submitted cards for review by the February 14 deadline. The consultants provided an alternative district map that would equalize the population among the city’s four districts. However, members of city council agreed that with no compelling reason to change the boundaries, they are fine as they are.
“We’re just building the community and all trying to figure out how our districts work and what districts people are in,” Vice Mayor Rachel Kertz said, noting that the city has only had one election. district since its map was approved. “I think any type of change right now wouldn’t really be necessary.”
The city’s four neighborhoods each have approximately 15,333 inhabitants, with a gap of 8.53% between the most populated and the least populated neighborhood. The deviation is within the allowed range of 10%.
Since no public map was submitted, Kristen Parks, consultant at National Demographics Corp., offered an alternative map aiming to achieve a 5.5% spread.
The existing district map, called Canal Map 3B, was approved in 2018 after a lengthy public process that included maps submitted by community groups. District 1, known as the Southern District, includes the Canal Zone and Spinnaker-Baypoint.
Other neighborhoods in San Rafael are District 2, known as the West or Downtown Ward; District 3, or the Eastern District, which includes the Peacock Gap area and China Camp; and District 4, the North District, which encompasses the Terra Linda region.
Each district had approximately 14,500 residents according to the city’s 2010 census estimate.
Councilwoman Maribeth Bushey said it was a community effort to approve existing district lines.
“I hear loud and clear the absence of any community input on the necessary changes to these district boundaries,” Bushey said. “And I think we should listen to this silence and move forward without making these changes that have been proposed by our consultant.”
The final public hearing is March 21. A district map must be adopted by April 17.
More information on the districts of the city on redistrictsanrafael.org.