New map would shift congressional district

Dan Watson/The Signal

Although geographically similar to previously proposed maps, the most recent draft map from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission would reclassify the Santa Clarita Valley from being in the 25th Congressional District and place it in the 27th Congressional District — with shifts in the district’s boundaries appearing to favor future Democratic candidates for the seat.  

The latest CCRC map, which was published on Saturday and discussed during the commission’s lengthy meeting on Monday, would shift the name of the congressional district, but still include the SCV, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills while gaining Lancaster and removing its portion of Ventura County (Simi Valley), and eastern sections such as Llano and Lake Los Angeles.  

A previous iteration of the map showing the local district had left out both Simi Valley and Porter Ranch, while including Sylmar, increasing the number of left-leaning voters in the district and creating an obstacle for incumbent 25th District Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, in maintaining his control of the seat.  

However, Sylmar, under the latest map, would be placed in the 29th Congressional District.  

In the Nov. 3, 2020, general election, Garcia beat Democratic candidate Christy Smith, 169,638 votes to 169,305 — a margin of 333 ballots.   

The Los Angeles County vote totals for the election showed Smith winning the county, including the SCV, by a margin of 5,375. However, the incumbent congressman edged out his former-assemblywoman challenger after collecting 5,708 more votes in Ventura County. 

“The commission has shown they were not acting independently when they drew all of the Democratic incumbents into safer seats while making five out of the 11 Republican districts more vulnerable, but I know we will win in this new district regardless,” said Garcia in a statement sent to The Signal on Monday. “While I am sad to lose the residents of Simi Valley – who showed a tremendous outpouring of support to keep me as their member of Congress during the redistricting process – and the Reagan Library, I am very pleased to represent Granada Hills, which is the city where I was born. It’s also great to welcome more of the Antelope Valley community into the 25th District.” 

While a handful of speakers expressed their support for how the map redrawing was done, Garcia was not alone in his frustration over the map redrawing for the state’s congressional seats. A number of speakers during the commission’s Monday night meeting expressed their anger over how lines in their respective districts broke up communities and/or lumped communities together that were dissimilar.   

The “25th Congressional District” name will now encompass much of Riverside and Imperial counties, running down to the California/Mexico international border.  

For the California State Senate, Monday’s proposed final map puts the SCV in the 23rd District rather than the 21st, though the boundaries remain similar. The map would add Stevenson Ranch and certain mountainous areas to the boundaries, encompassing the entire SCV in what is currently the 21st District represented by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita. 

The California State Assembly proposed final map would put the SCV in the 40th District rather than the 38th, currently represented by Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, expanding to the south to encompass a majority of the SCV, while shifting Agua Dulce to the 34th District, which was previously known as the 36th District. currently represented by Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Antelope Valley. 

The meeting, and possible vote to finalize the map, was not completed at the time of publication for this article. The commission’s redrawing has a Dec. 27 deadline.  

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