State Senate Representation
The 2012 Election season has finally reached a conclusion but not without a level of ongoing confusion. I recall learning about government and representation in school but with the current election I have to step back. Were you aware that San Mateo County will have the luxury of being represented by not one but two State Senators for perhaps the next two years?
The intention of re-districting is to look at the population demographics and balance the number of citizens with equal representation. The process of re-districting occurs every ten years to coincide with the Census and in the past was done by the California State Legislature. However, more often than not, the Legislature re-drew district lines that had self-serving interests.
In 2008, the voters in California voters passed Proposition 11 which authorized the creation of a 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission that would have the responsibility for drawing district boundaries for the 120 legislative districts and four Board of Equalization districts.
In 2010, a U.S. Congressional Redistricting Initiative (Proposition 20) was passed by the voters that added the responsibility of re-drawing California’s U.S. Congressional districts to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission created by Proposition 11. 2010 also saw Proposition 27 placed before the voters which was an effort to repeal Proposition 11 but failed at the polls.
In January of 2012, the California State Supreme Court ruled that the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s State Senate maps would be used in all 2012 elections unless overturned at a later date. In the meantime, another attempt to overturn the State Senate districting maps, Proposition 40, was placed on the recent November ballot and it too failed by greater than a 2 to 1 margin.
So, now we look at the “musical chairs” of the State Senate candidates and the available districts. Senator Leland Yee was elected in 2010 to serve a four-year term as State Senator in District 8 representing the western half of San Francisco and most of us in San Mateo County.
As a result of the re-Districting, San Mateo County finds itself in the 13th Senate District and will be represented by Jerry Hill who was elected on November 6. San Francisco, which was split into two Senate Districts (3 and 8) is now entirely in the 11th Senate District and will be represented by Mark Leno who was also elected this month as well.
Now we have Senator Yee, a duly elected State Senator with two years remaining in his term, without an officially defined District or constituents to represent. After speaking with Senator Yee’s aide a little over a week ago, it seems for now that Senator Yee will represent the same constituents that he did in the past until some changes or modifications are made by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission or other appropriate authority. Until then, we in San Mateo County will be represented by two State Senators, both Senator Hill and Senator Yee, an oddity indeed.
As of now, I plan to interact with both Senators Yee and Hill as our State Senate representative(s) and plan to talk to each on how they perceive the interactive process should take place with each of them. Having two representatives in what seems to be similar capacities could become clumsy and counter-productive. Knowing each of them as professionals, I am sure that effective communications will continue.
I would appreciate your comments on this and other issues by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-573-7359.
November 14, 2012
State Senate Representation