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Redistricting Leads to Leadership Changes

The City of Santa Clara and the City of Sunnyvale will have new representation at the State Assembly.

According to We Draw the Lines California – the organization tasked with redrawing the state’s election districts based on the 2020 Census results – Santa Clara and Sunnyvale will be combined into Assembly District 26.

Under the previous map, Santa Clara belonged to Assembly District 25, represented by Alex Lee and Sunnyvale belonged to Assembly District 24, represented by Marc Berman. The current Assembly District 26 consists of Visalia, Porterville and Death Valley and is represented by Devon Mathis.

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We Draw the Lines California submitted the new district lines to California’s Secretary of State on Dec. 27, 2021. If there are no legal challenges by March 27, 2022, the lines will become official.

However, they will not become “operative” until after the 2022 primary and general elections.

That means Santa Clara will be represented by Lee and Sunnyvale will be represented by Berman until after the 2022 general election.

During the 2022 primary and general elections, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale will vote for Assembly District 26’s representative. After the general election, both cities will be represented by the elected official for the new Assembly District 26.

Redistricting Also Affects State Senate

The new Assembly District is just one of the many changes that Sunnyvale will have to deal with in the coming year.

Under the new map, Sunnyvale’s State Senate district will also change. For the past 10 years, Sunnyvale was part of District 13, represented by State Senator Josh Becker.

The new map puts Sunnyvale into District 10, the same district as the City of Santa Clara. Santa Clara’s district does not change.

District 10 is currently represented by State Senator Bob Wieckowski. The seat is up for election in November 2022.

Santa Clara County Redistricting

Santa Clara County also redrew its district lines.

Despite opposition from Sunnyvale, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a redistricting map that will place all of Sunnyvale in District 3. Previously, the City was divided between Districts 3 and 5.

According to the County, the district boundaries take into consideration, “…topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguousness, compactness of territory, and communities of interest.”

Sunnyvale leaders are disappointed.

“While we wish there had been further discussion of continuing Sunnyvale’s dual supervisor representation, we have always collaborated well with our county supervisors,” said Mayor Larry Klein. “We will continue to maintain our great working relationship with Supervisor [Otto] Lee going forward and we are honored to have Supervisor [Joe] Simitian representing us the rest of this year while we are still part of his district.”

Like the state, the County draws new district boundaries every 10 years and bases those boundaries on the newest Census data.

District 3 is represented by Supervisor Otto Lee. He will now be the sole representative for Sunnyvale. Lee was elected in 2020 and will be up for re-election in 2024.

The redrawing of the County’s districts did not change things for the City of Santa Clara. Santa Clara remains in District 4 and is represented by Supervisor Susan Ellenberg.

Ellenberg’s seat is up for election in 2022.

California Redraws National Congressional Districts

The Census results also forced California to redraw its congressional districts. Because California saw little to no population growth in the past 10 years, the state lost a Congressional seat. There are now 52 people representing California in Congress.

Despite redrawing the district lines, there is no change to who represents the City of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale in Washington. According to We Draw the Lines California, both cities will remain in California’s 17th Congressional District, represented by Ro Khanna.

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