Encinitas, Carlsbad hold council redistricting hearings

North Coast Current

Encinitas and Carlsbad are moving forward on City Council redistricting with public hearings this week.

The hearings — scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 22, for Encinitas and Thursday, Sept. 23, for Carlsbad — are part of the steps the cities are taking in wake of the 2020 census.

City councils throughout the region opted for by-district representation in 2017 under threat of lawsuits from a Malibu attorney. The release of census data now requires a look at how district boundaries are drawn, according to city officials.

“Following every federal decennial census, local governments are required to commence a formal redistricting process as prescribed by the California Elections Code,” an Encinitas primer on the redistricting process explains. “As a consequence of the Legislature’s significant revisions to the FAIR MAPS Act in 2020, Encinitas must follow a somewhat different process and different substantive criteria than those used to establish its current voting districts in 2017.”

The current boundaries of Encinitas City Council District 3 have faced criticism in recent years for how they were drawn.

Both Carlsbad and Encinitas also face this process in the midst of having council-appointed members. The Encinitas City Council appointed Joy Lyndes to fill its District 3 seat in February after the death of Councilwoman Jody Hubbard. The Carlsbad City Council recently appointed Peder Norby to its District 1 seat after the resignation of Councilwoman Cori Schumacher. Both seats are up for election in 2022.

The cities differ in their approaches for the redistricting process. Carlsbad opted for an independent commission made up of residents. Encinitas has hired legal and demographic services.

In a news release, Carlsbad officials stated that they seek input from residents based on the following questions:

What defines your community?
What are the boundaries of your community?
Why would this community benefit from being included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation?

This week’s public hearings will be held virtually.

Encinitas’ hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday as part of the regular City Council meeting and is a follow-up to an Aug. 16 public workshop. The next workshop is set for Oct. 16. Click here for more information on Encinitas’ redistricting process and upcoming activities.

Carlsbad’s hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday. Click here for more information about the city’s process and schedule.

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