Some of the residents of Contra Costa County will find themselves represented by a new leader in the coming months following the approval of the district redistribution map that united the city of Pinole, divided Concorde and changed the borders separating Antioch and Walnut Creek.
The supervisory board on Tuesday unanimously approved five new constituencies for the county. Geographic boundaries are updated every 10 years to ensure that counties represent approximately the same number of people as reflected in the updated total population figures compiled by the United States Census Bureau.
As a result, the small northern part of Concord will be included in the 5th Federal Regulatory Authority of Glover, which includes Martinez, Hercules and Pittsburgh. The rest of Concord will remain with most of Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill in District 4 of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
During the last county reallocation process a decade ago, Pinole was split between Glover’s 5th arrondissement and supervisor John Joey’s 1st arrondissement, which also includes the towns of Richmond and El Cerrito in the west of the county. The city will now be reunited in the Joey area.
Walnut Creek will be further divided between Mitchoff’s 4th and Surveyor Candice Andersen’s 2nd so that Acalanes Ridge, the open-space section north of the junction of Interstate 680 and State Highway 24, will now be represented by Andersen.
Other areas going into District 2 are Diablo, Blackhawk and Camino Tassahara, which will now join neighboring Danville and San Ramon.
Supervisor Diana Burgis’s District 3, which includes the more rural eastern district and the agricultural core of the region, will lose Diablo, Blackhawk and Camino Tassaharaas, as well as the Morgan Cattle Territory, which is part of the Mount Diablo Unified School District.
The Tuscany Meadows residences in Pittsburgh will be relocated from District 3 to District 5, just like Antioch.
In general, the total population of each county will comply with state law, which dictates how much larger one county can be than another. District 2 will have about 244,000 voters, and District 3 will have 220,000, a large gap, but not enough to overcome the state cap of 10% difference between largest and smallest districts.
The Supervisory Board held several public hearings on the district redistribution process, during which some Concorde residents spoke out against dividing their city into districts. They expressed concern that Concorde’s large Hispanic population would be split between the two constituencies and that its voting power would diminish.
“These other areas are less diverse than the one you share in Concord,” said Addy, a speaker who attended several county change meetings but did not give a last name. “I think taking this voting power away from the communities of interest in Concorde will hinder them in the future.”
At a meeting on Tuesday, oversight bodies challenged the idea of less-represented Concorde residents, indicating that they live in a united city and do not rely on the county’s services like other smaller communities do.
“To be honest, when someone looks at these lines, you don’t see the wavy lines and sleeves stretching across vast areas,” Joya said, explaining why the map should not be viewed as a political fraud.
Burgis said that the two leaders representing the city are actually good. In Antioch, for example, she and Glover can now redouble their efforts.
“I don’t say:“ Well, where is this? I say, “Oh, this is Antioch, I will help them,” she said. “We’re not looking at the lines.”