December 9, 2009 > New boundaries for Santa Clara Valley Water District
New boundaries for Santa Clara Valley Water District
Submitted By Richard Santos
This fall, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 466, a measure amending the Santa Clara Valley Water District Act. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Coto, puts into law reforms that the water district board of directors had adopted almost a year prior. In addition, the bill replaced the current board of directors' structure with a structure where all seven board members would be elected from new districts that will be drawn through a formal redistricting process that must be completed by June 30, 2010.
The creation of new districts requires a redistricting study to ensure the seven newly drawn districts meet the one-person, one-vote test to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. To conduct this study in an inclusive, transparent and comprehensive manner, the water district board of directors has created an independent Redistricting Advisory Committee comprised of seven community leaders from all areas of Santa Clara County to work on establishing new district boundaries. The committee members are as follows:
District 1: Bill Baron
District 2: Lynda Ramirez Jones
District 3: Rev. Jeff Moore
District 4: Suzanne Wilson
District 5: Dr. Michael Chang
North County At-Large: Bob Brownstein
South County At-Large: Roland Velasco
As a representative of a diverse community, I am pleased that we were able to identify such a diverse group of community leaders to represent a wide variety of voices from throughout the county. This committee will ensure the process is open, inclusive and transparent. Each board member will be elected from seven smaller, equally divided districts. Creating smaller districts will improve voter representation, as each new district will better reflect the geographic, social and economic diversity that exists within Santa Clara County. In addition, the new smaller districts will provide greater opportunity for competitive elections by making it less expensive for residents to run for public office.
The process is expected to be complete by April 13, 2010 with the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors adopting a redistricting plan at the April 27, 2010 meeting. The Redistricting Advisory Committee is expected to hold a total of seven meetings in various locations throughout the county. For more information visit www.valleywater.org and click redistricting.
The first meeting of the Redistricting Advisory Committee will be held January 19, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the Santa Clara Valley Water District Headquarters, located at 5700 Almaden Expressway in San Jose. The meeting is open to the public.
As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for Sunnyvale; Alviso; Milpitas; and the Berryessa/Alum Rock communities, east of Highway 101 to the Evergreen community area. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707.
Director Richard Santos
Santa Clara Valley Water District