Alameda will shift to a different Congressional district — one now represented by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) — if an almost-final redistricting map is approved by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission Aug. 15.
Final preliminary maps released Friday by the commission would move Alameda into the Ninth Congressional District, which also includes Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville and Piedmont. Presently Alameda is part of the 13th Congressional District, represented by Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark.
San Leandro would also move from the Ninth District to the 13th, according to the maps.
Alameda wouldn't be affected by redistricting changes proposed for the state legislature.
The maps leave the Island in the Ninth Senate District, currently represented by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), and the 16th Assembly District, presently represented by Assemblymember Sandre Swanson (D-Oakland).
All but one of the 14 redistricting commissioners, Republican Michael Ward, a chiropractor from Anaheim, voted in favor of the draft maps.
The commission will accept public input over the next two weeks before taking a final vote on the maps on Aug. 15. Most will go into effect for the 2012 election.
Congressional District Shifts
This wouldn't be the first time Alameda has moved from one Congressional district to another. Until 2001 it was part of the more northerly Ninth District.
It became part of the 13th District that year when redistricting mapmakers removed Milpitas, which is in Santa Clara Co., from the 13th and replaced it with Alameda, a change that kept the district entirely within Alameda County.
The 13th District faces other changes under the new redistricting plan.
Currently, the district encompasses the southern and westernmost portions of the county, including Fremont, Hayward, Newark, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol, Union City, along with Alameda, parts of Oakland and Pleasanton.
The new map shows the district moving east, separating Union City from its Tri-City counterparts — all of Newark and a majority of Fremont shifts south into a district comprising mostly of Santa Clara County cities. The district would drop Oakland as well as Alameda.
The district instead picks up more of San Leandro, Castro Valley and Pleasanton, along with all of Dublin and Livermore and a portion of San Ramon.
The Ninth District would add portions of Oakland and Castro Valley.
Lee and Stark are both up for re-election in 2012.
Stark, first elected to Congress in 1973, was unavailable for comment. There was no official word from his office by Friday on whether he will seek re-election.
About the Citizens Redistricting Commission
Letting citizens redraw the political lines in California represents a large-scale national effort to eliminate gerrymandering.
The commission was spawned by a 2008 voter-approved ballot measure that stripped state legislators of the power to draw their own district boundaries. The commission's tasks were expanded to include the drawing of congressional districts last November.
Redistricting occurs every 10 years using updated population data from the most recent U.S. Census.
The commission says its goal is to create contiguous districts of relatively equal population that minimize city and county divisions, and group towns with similar "communities of interest."
You may view the commission's most recent maps here.