A unique set of circumstances has altered the political representation of Santa Monica’s electorate as a State Senator that residents did not vote for is now representing the City.
According to his office, Sen. Ted W. Lieu has picked up Santa Monica as part of his 28th District, which includes most of Los Angeles County’s coastal communities south of the City.
Lieu now represents nearly 1.3 million people and added the cities of Beverly Hills, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and portions of Hollywood to his district.
His district already included Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro.
The expansion of Lieu’s district occurred due to a transition plan for constituency services recently approved by the Senate Rules Committee.
There are 40 Senate Districts in California’s upper house, with half of the senators up for election one year and the other half going to the polls two years later. In 2012, oddly numbered districts were on the ballot. As Lieu represents the 28th District, his seat is not up for election until 2014.
However, when Lieu was last reelected to the State Senate in 2010, it was under a district established in 2001. In 2011, all of the districts were redrawn to account for the 2010 Census, but only senators in oddly numbered prefectures represent constituencies based upon the redrawn lines.
Accordingly, the evenly numbered districts are considered “deferred” districts, meaning voters in prefectures such as the 28th will not be able to vote within the lines redrawn in 2011 until 2014.
In order to accommodate the gap, the lines of evenly numbered districts were adjusted to accurately represent how it would look like as if it would have in the 2012 election. The expansion of the 28th district means Lieu picks up, according to a statement released by his office, 388,000 new residents – none of whom voted for him in 2010.
“These unique circumstances create some areas of overlap between the old and new districts (‘accelerated areas’) and some areas without any coverage (‘deferred areas’),” a press statement from Lieu’s office stated.
“For the 2013-14 Regular Session of the Legislature, each accelerated area essentially has two Senators representing the area, while each deferred area has none,” the statement read. “The Senate Committee on Rules has therefore assigned a Senator to provide appropriate constituent services to each deferred area.”
Prior to the expansion, Lieu had represented about 931,000 residents, his office stated.
“I look forward to serving my new constituents and solving any problems they may have,” Lieu said.
According to Lieu’s office and 2010 Census Bureau figures. 3,972,984 people live in deferred areas throughout the state.
“Those numbers reflect the whole population residing in those areas, not just registered voters or persons legally eligible to register to vote,” Lieu’s office stated.
The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission, which oversees deferred areas, was created by California voters when they passed Proposition 11 in November 2008. The Commission oversees the drawing of boundaries for the state’s congressional, senate, assembly, and Board of Equalizations electoral districts.
For a complete list of assignments of California’s State Senators, please visit http://sdmg.senate.ca.gov/20132014mapsanddata.