A pair of former Santa Barbara assemblymen is seeking to have the 35th Assembly District redrawn so that its boundaries coincide with the boundaries of Santa Barbara County.
But they may not have the numbers to make that work.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission is taking public testimony from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. this evening at the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors chambers, 1055 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo.
Former Assemblymen Pedro Nava, a Democrat, and Brooks Firestone, a Republican, said in a news release that they will ask the commission this evening to redraw the lines in a way that puts Santa Barbara County in one Assembly district.
Under the current boundaries, the 33rd Assembly District, represented by Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, includes the northern part of Santa Barbara County, from Santa Maria roughly down to Lompoc.
The Nava-Firestone proposal will fall short in at least one way: Each new district drawn by the commission must have 465,674 people. The 2011 U.S. Census reported Santa Barbara County has 423,895 residents.
Should the former lawmakers prevail, the 35th District, currently represented by Democrat Das Williams, would have to include voters from one of its surrounding counties.
The district currently includes part of Ventura County.
Achadjian told The Tribune today that he would not like to lose Northern Santa Barbara County. However the commission redraws the lines, they do it with the understanding that San Luis Obispo County is an agricultural and tourism area and should be paired with similar areas.
The commission was created by voters seeking more fairness in state and congressional elections.
Under the Constitution, the state must redraw legislative districts every 10 years. The Legislature has been doing a poor job of it, voters decided.
Their votes in 2008 and 2010 created the 14-member commission to take the redistricting out the hands of legislators who, voters felt, have historically redrawn lines in a way that protects incumbents in both the Democratic and Republican parties.