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Letter to the Editor: Redistricting Committee dumps Orange County communities into Long Beach

A Sacramento appointed Redistricting Committee has redrawn voting lines for Assembly and State Senate by scooping out Orange County communities of Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, and Cypress and dumping them into the Long Beach voting district. Our state representatives must reflect the values of constituents which was often the reason Los Angeles County residents moved into Orange County. While the Redistricting Commission expressed that these stated three Orange County communities shared common interests that statement is NOT TRUE; the only real commonality is geographic.

Orange County communities should vote with other Orange County residents. Our communities intermingle via the cultural and social thread of companionship achieved through utilization of the SAME THINGS: same sheriff/police departments, same Orange County Board of Education, same utility companies, same County mandates, same transit, same County Supervisors, same Diocese, same entertainment venues, same businesses and same desire for freedom of speech.

There are other major differences:

  • Housing: there are more renters in Long Beach than in the three Orange County communities. Long Beach homes average selling price is at at $600 thousand while Rossmoor average homes sell at 1.4 million.
  • Schools: an economic income indicator is Free and Reduced Federal Breakfast/Lunch program; Long Beach Unified has 50% on Free & Reduced meals while three O.C. communities have less than 17% on free meals.
  • Language level: Second Language Learners is 14% in Long Beach while the three Orange County communities have 2.4% second language learners.
  • CRIME: The Long Beach police do not cross the L.A./Orange County border to assist Rossmoor Sheriff, or Los Alamitos or Cypress police while the Orange County protective services work together.
  • CRIME: the Long Beach crime rate is double the crime rate in the zip code area of 90720.

EMAIL YOUR REDISTRICTING OPINIONS BY MID NOVEMBER: [email protected]

Karen Swenson
Resident, Los Alamitos/Rossmoor

Editor’s Note: Lightly edited for formatting.

2 Comments

  1. A lot of local residents impacted by this redistricting have posted public comments on the official wedrawthelines.org website, so the outreach is having an effect. I cannot believe how many of the commenters are writing about how our area is to be annexed by LA County or the City of Long Beach under this redistricting. Unbelievable

    1. Vonnie,

      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze, and for taking the time to comment on this article.

      I want to clarify redistricting for some of our readers, who appear confused about what exactly is happening.

      Last year, as required by the United States Constitution, the federal government conducted a census, as it does every ten years.

      The completion of a decennial census triggers states to redraw voting district lines. In particular, California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission is currently asking for comments about how the new voting district lines should be drawn. The Citizens Redistricting Commission is responsible for redrawing Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly Districts.

      Also happening right now is redistricting within counties, redrawing the lines of supervisorial districts. That redistricting in Orange County is done by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, entirely independent of the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

      Neither the activity of the Citizens Redistricting Commission nor of the Orange County Board of Supervisors — nor, for that matter, redistricting by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — will annex any portion of Orange County into Long Beach.

      What may happen is that Seal Beach, Rossmoor, and Los Alamitos could be grouped with a portion of Long Beach in a Congressional, State Senate, or State Assembly voting district — which happened ten years ago, when for example the current 47th Congressional District represented by Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D) reached across the county border to engulf Los Alamitos, Cypress, Rossmoor, Garden Grove, and Westminster. Being part of the 47th Congressional District did not make those cities suddenly part of Long Beach. However, they did lose their distinct voice and representation in Congress, drowned out by much larger Long Beach.

      My personal preference is that the small communities smushed up against the county border stay together at all levels — County, State and Federal.

      If readers want to express an opinion regarding redistricting of Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly districts, they should visit WeDrawTheLines.org.

      For County-level supervisorial redistricting, they should visit https://cob.ocgov.com/2021-redistricting-plan

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

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