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Dear Commissioners,
Thank you for your continued dedication to California and for the hours of testimony and input you have collated and guided over the past year. As you continue to look beyond visualizations and begin to craft, tweak, and adopt final boundaries for California’s state representatives, Sonoma County Conservation Action strongly urges you to consider the North Coast as an important community of interest.
The existing Congressional and State Senate lines run from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. This configuration has allowed our local communities to have particularly strong voices on coastal needs: the impact of coastal development on California’s wildlife, the impacts of offshore oil drilling, toxic algae blooms and acidic Dungeness crab, plastics and marine debris, access to healthcare and education, to name a few. Coastal issues are unique and important to California’s success, and dividing coastal communities will dilute their voices.
The North Coast includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties. These counties combine for a population of just under 1 million residents. While that is sufficient for a California State Senate district, it is too large for any one Congressional district (750,000 population). Of those counties, the population density for Sonoma County (500,000) makes the most sense for a clean division between a coastal Congressional district and a second Congressional district.
In a poll by the PPIC, 77% of respondents listed the condition of California’s iconic ocean and beaches as an important issue. Our residents already see the coast as a significant community of interest and we urge the commission to follow their lead.
Warmest regards,
Chris Rogers
Executive Director
Sonoma County Conservation Action