You are here: Home Activities "Forum on State and Federal Redistricting in Yolo County" [with video and updates]
Document Actions

"Forum on State and Federal Redistricting in Yolo County" [with video and updates]

Saving California Communities has been conducting public forums on key policy issues for over two years. The Citizens Redistricting Commission has recently published draft maps of legislative and congressional districts. This local forum will provide information on the process, the implications and ways to provide input on this critical topic.


Date: June 22, 2011, Wednesday

Time: 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Place: Hallmark Inn, 110 F Street, Davis CA

Questions? Contact

Thanks to the Hallmark Inn for hosting.


Video & Updates:


Click on the arrow to start the forum video.  Thanks to DCTV for making it available. Depending on your Internet connection, the video might take a moment to load.





Thanks to Don Saylor for the following update on Redistricting.  Please contact him directly for more information.



The Citizens Redistricting Commission has voted to approve their revised maps for Board of Equalization, state legislative and congressional districts. They have released the maps for public review and will take a final vote on August 15.


The maps they voted to approve today reflect the changes we have advocated for to keep Yolo County as a whole as a reflection of our community of interest.  


The only exception is the one we anticipated -- West Sacramento is aligned with urban Sacramento areas for all three levels of legislative representation.


I am extremely proud of the advocacy efforts we jointly pursued.  I am equally impressed with the transparency and responsiveness of the CRC process.


Between now and August 15, the CRC will be receiving comments on their work.  Now would be a very good time to send a message expressing support of their conclusions and appreciation for their countless hours of work.


All the best -- 




Link to CRC message: 



Citizens Redistricting Commission approved Preliminary Final Maps.




Citizens Redistricting Commission's Meeting Summary for July 22-24.



Thanks to Don Saylor for the following update on Redistricting.  Please contact him directly for more information.

Friends -- 

The 1980, 1990 and 2000 redistricting all resulted in switching the Senate Districts to which Yolo County voters were assigned from odd to even or even to odd.  The effect of those changes was to deprive Yolo County residents of the opportunity to vote for their representative in the State Senate for 6 of the past 30 years.  Observers of the redistricting process have been concerned about this happening to us once again. Several of you commented on this point in the public comment to CRC and the Yolo County letter mentioned it.  
Well, today we have good news.  Based on the premise that the fewest number of constituents in any new district should be disadvantaged by this ping-pong effect, the CRC voted to include Yolo in the new SD-3. Because we are currently in an odd-numbered district (SD-5), this results in us being able to vote in 2012 for our representative in the State Senate.
Once again, thanks for your engagement in this important set of issues.


Citizens Redistricting Commission's  Meeting Summary for July 21.



Updated Visualizations posted by California Citizens Redistricting Commission.



Thanks to Don Saylor for the following update on Redistricting.  Please contact him directly for more information.

Thanks to all of you who engaged late last week to respond to the alert on changes to the visualizations legislative districts including Yolo County.  It made a difference.  While not all of the aspects of the districts we might like have been incorporated, much of our effort has been focused on keeping Yolo whole and we are close to achieving that. 
On Saturday, July 16, the Citizens Redistricting Commission reunited the county (except for West Sacramento) so Davis, Woodland and Winters are back in the same Assembly District.  
However, for Assembly, the most recent discussions by CRC moved Yolo from our current alignment with Solano and instead created a district with most of Yolo, most of Colusa, all of Lake, all of Napa, a piece of Sonoma (Rohnert Park), and a piece of Solano (either Dixon or a small piece of Fairfield/Vacaville). 
Below is a picture of roughly what the new Assembly district may look like.  There may be changes in the split in Solano and Sonoma but at this point it seems likely this will be the fundamental architecture.  Please note that this is not an official visualization from the CRC, but rather an approximation based on their discussions.
Based on reports and observations it appears that the Senate and Congressional Districts also keep Yolo County (except West Sacramento) united.  Those maps are expressed in the visualizations available on the we draw the lines web site at:
We will continue to monitor this as it is the proverbial moving target.  The CRC has meetings set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week with line drawing to happen on Friday and Saturday.  Their schedule calls for a vote on final maps on July 29.  Stay tuned.



Thanks to Don Saylor for the following update on Redistricting.  Please contact him directly at for more information.


At 6:45 PM today, after a long and tiring day, the CRC made a strange move.

Earlier in the day, they reviewed "visualizations" of many districts, including a new Assembly District that keeps Yolo (except West Sac) whole and combines it with some jurisdictions in Solano, Colusa and Contra Costa Counties.  This is consistent with our requests and advocacy.  During this first pass, the CRC approved this visualization. 

After the day had worn on,at about 6:45,  the CRC came to a discussion of Bay Area Assembly districts.  In that context, they searched for a way to connect Vallejo and Benicia to the Bay area.  Neither of these cities were in the Yolo District. Commissioner Forbes had left the meeting. The CRC made shifts that move Woodland to a district that includes Fairfield and Napa. They then added Pittsburg to the district that includes Davis and Winters.

The bottom line in this is to return to a three way split for Yolo.  This is a departure from the last two sets of visualizations that reflected our community of interest.

The CRC is meeting at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. We need some voices. I will be there as will Jim Provenza. Please let me know if you are able to join in.

Here are the meeting details for tomorrow:

Citizens Redistricting Commission Meeting
Thursday, July 14, 2011 (9:00 a.m. – Close of business)
McGeorge School of Law
Classroom C
3200 Fifth Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817

Introduction (9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.)
Public Comment (9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)

Here are our talking points for tomorrow:

  • Late in the evening and under the gun of a deadline your commission wandered off the road on the I-80 corridor. 
  • Please do not disenfranchise all of Yolo and Solano counties.
  • Tell you technical staff never mind, go back to the ECC district you started the day with yesterday and focus on the other challenges you have in the state
  •  In trying to address concerns about Vallejo and Benicia, the commission voted to pursue a plan that would:
    • Split the 200,000 residents of Yolo County three different districts;
    • Split the 400,000 residents of Solano into three different districts;
    • Split a community of interest between Davis and Woodland that dozens of citizens showed up to testify about at your Sacramento hearing; and,
    • Split another community of interest between Fairfield and Vacaville.
  • And this decision was made without the Commissioner from the area in the room.
  • Commissioner Forbes would have told you that a district that has Woodland and Napa as the two main population centers despite being 60 miles apart makes no rational sense. 
  • It makes far more sense to put Napa with Vallejo which is only 15 miles away.
  • The weight of the public testimony should matter.   Your first draft maps had Davis and Yolo split and put Vallejo and Napa together.  In response:
    • Dozens of citizens from Yolo from all economic backgrounds showed up to protest.
    • Your current public input database shows no one from Benicia or Vallejo speaking at a single hearing. 
  • Importantly, Vallejo and Benicia are currently in an Assembly district with Napa County. If this arrangement was so disagreeable and so disenfranchising, where have they been?
  • If your concern is that Lake County is too far away from Vallejo, simply put Lake in your north coast district and exchange the population through Sonoma.  There is no reason to split Yolo and Solano into three districts to solve that concern.



Letter from California Citizens Redistricting Commission calling on the public to participate in its next steps in drawing final Congressional, Legislative and Board of Equalization Districts.  Please note the district visualizations, as well as the livestream of the meetings can be viewed at


[7/11/2011 From Don Saylor

Yolo County Voice Heard on State Redistricting
By Don Saylor

When I started this article, the story I had to tell was about effective citizen engagement in the redistricting process.  That is still the story, but a July 9 Press Release from the Citizen Redistricting Commission announced yet another change in an ever evolving process.  Now instead of releasing a new set of maps for public input on July 12, the CRC will be issuing just one more final set on July 28 and will vote on August 15. 

Here is how the story starts -- every ten years, legislative districts are redrawn to reflect the population census.  Passed in November 2008, Proposition 11 established the Citizens Redistricting Commission to shape geographic boundaries for state legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization districts.  On June 10, the CRC released their first draft maps based on the 2010 census.  The first draft sliced Yolo County into three Assembly Districts, three Senate Districts and three separate Congressional Districts.  Community action has resulted in a significant improvement in the anticipated district lines, but we need to stay vigilant over the next few weeks to assure that Yolo interests are reflected in the final maps.

Yolo Community of Interest not Reflected in First Draft

Plainly put, the voice of Yolo was diluted and diminished to non-existence in the initial version of district mapping.. The 200,000 residents of Yolo County would have been parceled out to nine separate representatives as a small minority of voters in every district to which they were assigned.  Woodland and Winters were in an Assembly District that excluded Davis and West Sacramento, but included Galt, Lodi and Oakley.   Davis and West Sacramento were attached as suburbs of Sacramento and the northern parts of the county were assigned to Yuba County seats.  Similar scenarios were drawn out for Senate and Congressional seats.  In short, Yolo was dismembered and assigned outward in every set of districts.  The strong voice Davis and Yolo residents have had with legislators such as Helen Thomson, Lois Wolk, Mariko Yamada, and Mike Thompson was clearly in jeopardy.

Civic Engagement Makes a Difference

Following the release of the first draft, many Davis and Yolo residents mobilized and worked together across partisan lines and city boundaries to change the direction of the CRC redistricting. Draft “visualizations” released by CRC last week group all of Yolo County except West Sacramento in the same Assembly and Senate districts.  The newly drawn Assembly district primarily includes Yolo and Solano Counties.  The Senate District nests this Assembly District with Napa, Lake and portions of Sonoma Counties.  Yolo remains divided into three separate Congressional districts.  West Sacramento is combined with Sacramento areas for all levels.  These new visualizations can be found in the meeting handouts section of the web site at

While not every change we asked for was included, these changes are extremely responsive to the public input provided by Yolo County residents.  Once the June 10 maps were released, the community set to work.  Within hours, e-mail networks, phone calls and social media sites featured comments and dialogue on the significance and implications of the new district lines.  Collective action by many emerged from these efforts and has made a difference. While many of those most active are members of the DDC, many were from other communities and many are not Democrats.

On June 14, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted to prepare and transmit a letter calling for the CRC to keep Yolo County whole in recognition.  Similar letters followed from the Woodland and Davis City Councils.

The local group, Saving California Communities, mobilized quickly to sponsor a forum on June 22 on redistricting at the Hallmark Inn in Davis.  Owner Reed Youmans opened the event with a call to action. Presenters included Trudy Schafer from the League of Women Voters of California, Delaine Eastin, Gary Sandy, Andrew Fulks, John Munn, Lucas Frerichs, Skip Davies, Susan Lovenburg, Jay Zeigler, Jim Provenza, Davis Campbell, and me.  We closed that session with an overall call to action and asked people to submit their written comments and attend the CRC input session on June 28.  This forum was filmed by Davis Media Accesss and is available at

Gary Sandy's remarks at the June 22 forum so clearly articulated our shared vision that we converted his statement to a letter.  Susan Lovenburg spearheaded the effort to gather over 100 signatures for submission to the CRC by June 28. 

On June 24, Dave Pratt, Matt Williams and I travelled to Stockton to testify about the Yolo community of interest and found common cause with residents of Lodi and Galt who had similar concerns.

On June 26, the Davis Enterprise published an editorial calling for Yolo County to be united.  The Daily Democrat also published two editorials expressing a similar view. 

At the June 28 CRC Public Input hearing, 30 Yolo County residents requested that Yolo be whole.  Four Clarksburg residents, stated that they supported the initial draft maps and that their interest was in being affiliated with similar areas in Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties.  About four people expressed an interest in having West Sacramento aligned with Sacramento not Yolo County communities.  You can view this meeting on line at the wedrawthelines web site.

Next steps

The CRC process is ongoing and evolving.  The next set of draft maps was scheduled for release on July 12, but the July 9 announcement states that no second draft will be released for public comment.  Instead, the CRC will issue a number of visualizations leading to publication of a final set of district maps on July 28.  The CRC will meet on August 15 to vote on this final set of boundaries.  The CRC will meet throughout July in Sacramento at McGeorge School of Law and each of these meetings will include a public comment opportunity.   It is essential that we continue to monitor the meetings and provide written testimony and appear as needed to assure that the Yolo County voice continues to be heard in this process.  


[6/29/2011 From Don Saylor


Many of you have already heard that the CRC direction to their staff and consultants today reunited all of Yolo County except West Sacramento into the same Assembly and Senate districts. 

This direction came in the context of a CRC discussion of the Assembly Districts in northern California. 

This direction will shape the 2nd draft of the district maps.  We will continue to monitor this process as it unfolds. 

Stay tuned.  In the meantime, your engagement has made a difference for Yolo County.  Thank you."



1) To join in signing the letter to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, please email your name to by midnight on Sunday, June 26, 2011.  Please share this with those who may be interested.

2) To submit written comments directly to Citizens Redistricting Commission, click here. Remember due date for written comments is June 28. CRC asks that written comments address the following two questions.

  • Do you think the Commission understood your testimony about your community of interest? Do you think the Commission did not have enough testimony about your community of interest?
  • Do you have a suggestion that would make your district better reflect the interests of its residents, for example by moving the boundaries to include (or exclude) certain areas?

Supplemental attachments such as maps should be submitted in pdf or .jpg formats. Files not submitted in this format will not be posted to the Public Comments page.

3) CRC is conducting public comment hearings around the state and has business meetings that include short segments for public comment. A complete listing of hearing dates is maintained at Here are the upcoming hearings closest to Yolo County. The June 28 hearing is the best opportunity to provide testimony. 

  • Friday, June 24, 2011, 6-9 p.m. at Delta College in Stockton. Details on web site.
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2011, State Capitol, Room 4203 Sacramento, CA 6-9 p.m. Public Input Hearing. Two minute maximum time. 15 copies of any handouts. Speaker order numbers will be distributed beginning at 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2011,  (9 a.m. – Close of business) University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Classroom C 3200 Fifth Avenue Sacramento, CA Business Meeting. There is a time for public comment during this business meeting.


This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.