The Board of Supervisors Tuesday directed the Riverside County Executive Office to establish criteria for determining who will be on the committee that decides how to redraw supervisorial district boundaries after data from the 2020 census is processed.
Supervisors Jeff Hewitt and Manuel Perez jointly requested the directive as part of the board’s policy agenda.
“None of us were members of the board the last time there was a redistricting process,” Perez said. “We need to study what our policy should be. I’m looking forward to hearing back from the Executive Office about our options moving forward, and what the boundaries may look like going forward.”
The supervisors specifically want county CEO George Johnson and his staff to review how previous census steering committees were formed and return to the board within four months with recommendations regarding how to select members of the 2020 committee.
Previous committees have been comprised of representatives from each supervisor’s office, personnel from the Office of the Registrar of Voters and analysts from other agencies.
The issue of redrawing supervisorial district boundaries because of population shifts resulted in multiple hearings after the 2010 census, which showed the number of residents countywide increasing by 42% — 644,000 people — over the previous decade.
The hearings culminated in testy debates, mostly between then-Supervisors John Tavaglione, representing District 2, and Bob Buster, representing District 1. The pair argued over division of segments of the city of Riverside, concentrated in the Casa Blanca, Eastside and University neighborhoods.
The goal was to abide by apportionment targets set for each district. Two supervisors then on the board, Marion Ashley and Jeff Stone, surrendered whole cities as part of the redistricting. To break an impasse, Tavaglione ultimately relented to Buster’s proposal to envelope several neighborhoods that had historically belonged to the First District.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, questionnaires related to the 2020 count will begin going out in April. Census takers will also start making personal visits to hard-to-reach locations and canvassing colleges and universities.
Homes that have received questionnaires but were unresponsive will be visited beginning sometime in May, according to the government.
A report on the census will be delivered to the president and Congress in December 2020.
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