Home > California > Who will represent Humboldt County’s interest?

Who will represent Humboldt County’s interest?

[From Richard Salzman].

Who will represent our interest in the U.S. Congress, the State Senate, and the State Assembly?

Right now Humboldt County is grouped with other “coastal” counties in California, but redistricting is underway and some folks* would like to redraw the lines so that they run from West to East, putting us in a district with the Central Valley, rather then the current district lines which group us with Mendocino and Sonoma County.  That means that the largest voting population in this redrawn district would be Redding.

Maybe more then anything, one thing that would be at stake is our water interest.  Should our water go to our rivers for the health of our fish, or should it go to irrigate large commercial farms in the Central Valley? Recently these Central Valley farmers filed a lawsuit to stop our fishing season.

This Friday there will be a redistricting committee meeting in Santa Rosa. Public comment starts at 6:pm.  If you are able to attend I would be happy to coordinate carpooling if you reply to this email.  If you can not attend, please comment online (see links below).

* 5.4.11 Times Standard:
Councilman Mike Newman also asked the council to draft a letter to send to the Citizens Redistricting Commission to request the North Coast be included in the first round of hearings on the redistricting process. The council unanimously approved sending the letter. Mayor Frank Jager said they should include that this is the “real Northern California,”… .

[Apparently the city of Eureka thinks we have more in common with Central Valley Agri-interest the we do with Bodega Bay fisherman, just because Redding is “farther north” then Sonoma County….]

Comment here:
and here:

The full agenda for Friday’s meeting, preceding public comment at 6:pm:

  1. May 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Heraldo.
    You may know that Del Norte County’s State Senate District was already redrawn so they have been represented by a Central Valley State Senator for some time, who have on more then one occasion vote against the interest of Del Norte County, as Del Norte and the “coast” of that district, represents only a minority of the constituents of the district: http://www.calvoter.org/voter/maps/statewide/senate.pdf

  2. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    “some folks would like to redraw the lines so that they run from West to East”

    It is time that our local boards and councils take a stand on this issue so that we know who thinks that the East/West district is a good thing.

  3. May 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Apparently Eureka has done just that, and they do think a East West line would be a good idea, justified/alluded to in their letter by saying that it’s more important for us to be with other far north counties, which would mean we’d no longer we with other coastal counties.
    We’ll see if other cities bother to weigh in before the Friday meeting, but anyone who cares about fishing interest should take notice, as the L.A. Times article that’s linked, suggests.

  4. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    It could take another generation or two before our rural residents manage to suck every last drop of water out aquifers, tributaries and streams on their own…just like virtually everywhere else.

    But that’s no reason to rush the process by bringing additional water-hungry burbs into the picture.

  5. May 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    With out taking a position for or against this bill referenced below, I present it as an example of where Del Norte’s self interest are no longer represented by their own State Senator:

    85.6% of the the California Correctional Peace Officers Association’s (CCPOA) 32,000 members, who have been working without a contract since 2006, voted to approve a tentative agreement with Governor Brown.

    Their contract, along with five others pacts, are in Senate Bill 151. The bill has been approved by the state Senate. It goes before the state Assembly next week. If approved, this bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Brown. (Read more at the SacBee)

    Despite representing many CCPOA constituents that work at Pelican Bay Prison, Del Norte County’s state Senator, Doug LaMalfa, voted NO on SB 151.

    Also, if you want to comment on this link: http://www.healthycity.org/c/redistrict_coca
    you need to first close the shadow box, then click on “Mark a point”, then select Eureka or another Humboldt section and then the “comment” box will appear.

  6. May 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I would take any of those 3 jobs tomorrow.

  7. Not A Native
    May 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Making districts reflect watersheds would seem to make some sense. But the reality here is partisan politics. Republicans are in the majority in the interior and Democrats on the coast. Though I’d support a more diverse district, that doesn’t include career criminals, bigots, xenophobes, sucessionists, or teabagger Republicans.

  8. Percy
    May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    What is the makeup of this redistricting committee? Dem, repub, bi partisan?

  9. Charlie Bean
    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Personally, I do not see Humboldt and Del Norte being well represented by the Central Valley group.

    I could see part of Trinity, Medocino, Humboldt, Del norte, and Siskiyou as a district.

  10. Eric Kirk
    May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I’m of mixed opinion. On the one hand, I think that coastal economic and cultural interests differ too greatly from inland to justify unified representation. On the other hand, inland progressives could really use some help, and the campaigns could be fascinating to watch. I mean, what candidate can come up with a unified field theory of “local” politics to generate anything resembling consensus and win an election?

    Probably I lean against the proposal. But I think it warrants some discussion before we make it a political litmus test as suggested by anonymous 2:37.

  11. May 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    The real answer is to move to a unicameral legislature. Since the one man one vote Supreme Court decision some years ago requiring equal apportionment in both state legislative chambers, one of them has become superfluous. We could have one legislature with the same total number of reps we have now but each district would be half the size. Much better representation.

    have a peaceful day,

  12. Percy
    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    The right wing central valley ag interests would put Arkleys machinations to shame Erik. They would swallow us whole and take even more water for their “job creating” agribusiness. All the while selling it as the patriotic family farmers vs the tree hugging Humboldt hippies, even though they’re nothing but corporate hacks.

  13. Eric Kirk
    May 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Percy – we discussed this on my blog, with Bruce Ross of the Redding Record Searchlight asking the question. Apparently, under some scenarios, the numbers aren’t so bad for progressives.


  14. Eric Kirk
    May 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Or to quote a famous political figure: “Bring em on!”

  15. May 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I was no more impressed with the logic of the originator of that quote then I am with yours on this matter Eric. What possible benefit would it have for those of us on the North Coast? Why should we risk losing a voice in the two state houses and the U.S. Congress? The Central Valley’s interest are already well represented but the NorthCoast has but one voice in each of those bodies.

  16. May 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I am glad to see that at least in Shasta County, they came right out and admitted what they were considering, unlike when the Eureka City Council sent their cryptic email to the redistricting committee:

    At today’s hearing of the Citizens Redistricting Commission in Redding, some speakers in the room expressed enthusiasm for the idea of congressional/legislative districts that, instead of running north-south along the 101 and I-5 corridors, ran east-west, thus joining the political fortunes of Humboldt and Shasta counties.

    It seems like it would be an almost certain Republican seat…

    a district wide campaign would be very expensive, and I wonder if Humboldt County would be neglected.

  17. Percy
    May 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t have nearly the optimistic outlook about this possible east west realignment that you do Erik. And like some of the posters on your blog stated, where’s our “community interest” with the water hungry agribusiness repubs of the central valley? If it happened and we were represented by an ag interest republican they would not think twice about turning off the spigot and stranding 100k salmon in the lower Klamath; they’ve already proved that via Cheney – Norton. Any body remember a few years back when the Klamath Fishery Management Council who is involved with the salmon water releases had the audacity to ask for more water releases because of drought conditions and Wally Herger got wind of it and did his best to get rid of the committee by trying to defund them. He has about as much enviro cred as Pombo did and wouldn’t it be great to have somebody like that representing us. Redistricting us with them is the absolute worst thing that can happen to fishing interests along the north coast. Most of the old timers that ocean fish commercial and sport are die hard righties, but they better figure out who butters their bread for them or they’ll be without a season, permanently. Of course cheap rice is better than wild salmon any day. The water wars are here and if you side with the central valley team forget about watersheds and fishing. Figures that clueless Newman and the fools on the Eureka city council are too stupid to realize the amount of money that commercial and sport fishing brings to the local economy. Anything the Brady bunch and the chamber of commerce is in favor of makes me wary because they will do anything or undo anything that was put in place to please their benefactor. Our liberal majority here will be outspent by people with a lot more to gain finacially than the nickle and dime repubs around here, excluding da big fish, of course. Bad idea all the way around, especially for fishing.

  18. Little Buddha
    May 16, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    There is no question that when comparing the two regions, inland and coastal, our ways are not their ways. Our coastal Native American tribes representation would be diluted, our fishing industry would lose out to inland water interests, and almost certainly we would face hostility to marijuana cultivation from our own representatives. Wny? Because the numbers are stark: Conservatives would outnumber progressives two to one. Check out the Secretary of State’s website under “Voter Registration Statistics”. A district comprised of just Humboldt and Shasta Counties would result in a total of 59,742 Democrats and 65,704 Republicans. A progressive candidate would never win. A conservative Democrat couldn’t win. Simple math. Please go down and testify: There’s a reason we’re called “The North Coast”. I hope you’ll join me in testifying in Santa Rosa at City Hall at 6 PM…

  19. Plain Jane
    May 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Well stated, Percy and LB.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Not A Native says:
    May 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    Making districts reflect watersheds would seem to make some sense. But the reality here is partisan politics. Republicans are in the majority in the interior and Democrats on the coast. Though I’d support a more diverse district, that doesn’t include career criminals, bigots, xenophobes, sucessionists, or teabagger Republicans.

    Response: This is why an east/west redistricting would not make sense, except for water rights and allocation takings by areas far, far away, in a non-neighboring county or two or few ……….People Power = where the people live, government will divert resources to the detriment of where that resource was going naturally.


  21. Mr. Nice
    May 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    North-south makes more sense than east-west for voting.

    What do we got in common with folks in Redding? Both got Ray’s Food Place. We got tweakers, they got tweakers. We grow mad outdoor, they grow mad stupid outdoor. Folks there don’t wear shoes because they don’t know any better, folks here don’t wear shoes because we don’t want to.

    Only real difference is summer’s 30 fucking degrees hotter at night there. Fuck that and fuck Redding.

  22. scooter
    May 17, 2011 at 6:48 am

    @ 2:55, I am sick of hearing how it is the hill people that are destroying the rivers. I live in the hills and I have 2 springs that are on the TOP of the mountain. The water from these springs does not get to the creeks and rivers. it flows across the ground then goes back into the dirt. I take water and pipe it to a tank, when the tank is full I run the overflow back into the dirt. 99.9% of the water that flows into my tank flows right out and back into the aquafier.
    If you drink california wine then you do more damage to California rivers than I do. What with Sonoma co. stealing all of the Eel river water and the pesticides and fertilizers that are part of viticulture in this modern day. Bon Apetit.

    May 17, 2011 at 7:29 am


    don’t be too honest because the sheeple people in the urban dirty spots want to defame the hill people so as to steal their water rights for urban area uses, like infill……. I’ll always support the hillers lifestyles as opposed to urban infilling. Urban infilling is a political and economic scheme used to hurt human beings who live lifestyles more healthy than those being touted as numbers and figures in a government employee’s “Health Plan”, full of interesting conflicts.

    …………….AND, when mother nature calls, political leaders will open the levee flood gates after telling you to evacuate……thus intentionaly destroying your life after “setting you up” by forcing folks (through zone plannings) to live in “specific natural disaster areas”…….like flood plains. So with over-population, government has this idea that it can control where people live……….pfttttt. Next, it will be where people are roaming, traveling, exchanging carbon for oxygen, etc….


  24. Ben
    May 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

    When Sonoma County became part of our district, it made us part of a “safe” Democratic Party district. The economy and issues of Sonoma are very different than Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity, who were together in the “old” district. The characteristics of the Northern counties are simular and they shoudld be in the same district.

  25. Andrew Bird
    May 17, 2011 at 7:43 am


    I too looked at all the possible East-West district alignments that Bruce Ross drew up and every time it favors the Republicans because they outnumber Democrats. This East-West fantasy was cooked up by a Democrat in Redding who lost to GOP Congressman Wally Herger. He feels adding Humboldt & Del Norte to that Congressional District gives him a better chance to win. Maybe. But it more likely saddles Humboldt with Reeps in the Legislature and Congress who live in Shasta County or one of those counties. And nobody wants that, including the Reeps in the who live in those counties. The only people who argued for an East-West alliance were said Dem Congressional candidate (and a few of his friends on the Shasta and Siskiyou Dem central committees) and a Reep in Humboldt who lost by 21 points in the last Assembly election. The redistricting commission won’t give much weight to their testimony because their motives were purely political.

    When testifying before or writing to the redistricting commission, talk about the ties that bind the coastal counties: economic drivers such as commercial and recreational fishing, topography and geography such as rivers and watersheds, social connections and lifestyle, etc. Leave politics out of it. Don’t mention majority Democratic registration in North Coast counties as a reason to keep them together, for example. There is a solid bipartisan effort in other North Coast counties to communicate to the redistricting commission why it makes sense to keep these counties contiguous in new districts. Reeps I know on the North Coast (largely fishermen) don’t want to be represented by somebody who lives in Redding any more than Dems do.

    Oh, and Richard, SB 151 cleared the Assembly yesterday with enough Reep votes (two-thirds) to send it to the governor.

  26. Anonymous
    May 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

    scooter, you show a fundamental misunderstanding of groundwater hydrology. Once water moves underground it still moves downhill where it again surfaces.

  27. Ben
    May 17, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Sonoma County has very little in common with Humboldt County, but is very liberal and much larger than the North counties, hence guaranteed Democratic victory.

  28. Plain Jane
    May 17, 2011 at 8:01 am

    What do we have in common with Shasta County, Ben?

    May 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

    7:45 am,

    so blame the sky for cryin’. Humans life has always extracted water. Now, through politics, it is by whom.


  30. Ben
    May 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Resource based economy is a common thread between Shasta and Humboldt. We also have a lot in common with Del Norte, Jane.

  31. Plain Jane
    May 17, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I would agree that we have a lot in common with Del Norte, but not Shasta nor any of the inland counties, including Sonoma. A north-south coastal district from Del Norte to the southern boundary of Mendocino makes sense, but combining coastal counties which have a vital interest in protecting river flows with those with conflicting interest in draining rivers for agriculture makes no sense at all. All economies are based on resource extraction of one kind or another, it’s what humans do.

  32. Percy
    May 17, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The realignment that Ben suggests makes the most sense, except I would include Mendocino county also. Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity have the most community interest together. The dem yuppy winery agribusiness that Thompson is a part of is just as bad for fishing and the environment as the central valley repub agribusiness water hogs. The Eel had a historical salmon run that eclipsed the Klamath before the Sonoma Water District made the water grab that reduces it to a trickle in the late summer. The twelfth street hole in Fortuna had fishing guides in drift boats and local bank fisherman limiting daily into the eightys and now the whole river is catch and release so a bunch of fucking idiots in Sonoma can have yuppy wineries that impact the environment as much as old style logging used to. Blue dog Thompson is the lesser of two evils to me. He’s worthless as a progressive but better than a tea bagger. He’ll never do anything about the water issues because he’s part of it. We’ll never have any political clout till we realign with the coastal people that have the same economic and environmental interests that we do.

  33. Percy
    May 17, 2011 at 8:51 am

    That was the “old district” Ben refered to, not the new Shasta district.

  34. Ben
    May 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I do not think that the “old” district has enough population to be the new district and I think looking East is better than looking South for population. Becuase we are a safe Democratic district, election are not real elections since the Democratic Party selects the candidates they will support and then it is no contest. A more balanced district will allow for better quality candidates to move forward. Evans is certainly not a high quality representative.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Plain Jane says:
    May 17, 2011 at 8:23 am
    I would agree that we have a lot in common with Del Norte, but not Shasta nor any of the inland counties, including Sonoma. A north-south coastal district from Del Norte to the southern boundary of Mendocino makes sense, but combining coastal counties which have a vital interest in protecting river flows with those with conflicting interest in draining rivers for agriculture makes no sense at all. All economies are based on resource extraction of one kind or another, it’s what humans do.

    Response: What about Trinity County? Anyhow, living in and around the eastern edge of Humboldt County would suggest that areas with such basins like Willow Creek/Hupa could make the argument their water supplies and drainage ways and water tables, etc…. are a collective of water sources from multiple counties. “How much” and “quality” and those other micro management issue style sophisms are to be wrangled about as we all know. The coast may receive the “channeled” water run-offs via the water course itself, but the eastern edges of the county get to deal with political boundaries overlapping “NATURAL” topographical ground features that know no environmental political boundaries. Definately a concern for under-representations for those communites for whom lose water to allocations elsewhere outta their region.


  36. May 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The Eel is important to Humboldt County and yet for years the headwaters have been diverted by Dam and tunnel to the Russian river for small power use and surplus sold to Marin County–how many fish were never produced. The friends
    of thr Eel need assistanc. And we need representatives to never let our resources
    out of our control–again

  37. Eric Kirk
    May 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Andrew and Richard – what Bruce said was that at the meeting it was conservatives who opposed such a redistricting and progressives who wanted it. Under some scenarios, the Republicans would have an advantage, but not necessarily a decisive one.

    The upside is that there could conceivably be a blue sweep of all of Northern California, especially as baby boomers continue to move northward, inland and out.

    Now, we definitely could not win if we take the elitist tone about the inferiority of inland dwellers. Yes, the culture is different and there are more conservatives than progressives. But there are progressives there. There is Chico. There are lots of hippies in the northern slope of the Sierras. Shasta City. And lots of Hispanic voters and potential voters, in Redding itself, waiting to be mobilized.

    They couldn’t afford to ignore Humboldt County’s 130,000 people. They would be out here to campaign.

    I’m not saying it’s a good idea. I’m just calling for a closer look at it. The progressives inland are begging for help. Why not consider a challenge?

  38. May 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Look Eric, I can understand why you and other pundits would enjoy observing the “challenge” that such a district would provide, but I’m more interested in protecting our water rights. I don’t see this as some sort of sport or game or joke, I think that when you live in a a representational democracy (a republic), you want to have a voice that represents you and your interest in your government and north coast interest are primarily coastal.
    As disappointing as it might be to most Republican voters to have Democrats win the state and federal seats, I don’t think most of them would actually rather have a Republican, who voted against our water rights etc., so I really don’t think this is primary a partisan issue (even if that’s what’s driving the desire by folks in Redding to merge with us). My guess is that even a Republican representing the North Coast would tend to come down on the side of coastal water rights and even a Democrat from Redding could not be counted on to do the same.

    May 18, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Erik @ 2:48 pm,

    remember the 4th District candidates switching party affiliation? Yep, one in the same, that’s all. Dem, repub…equates to “eye candy” for the stupid. Labels mean nothing, but lack of character and ethics for which identifies with a label, well, read between the political lines….you won’t find any lines drawn.


  40. High Finance
    May 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

    The question of whether the political boundry lines should be drawn north-south or east-west has been around for a long time.

    Clearly Humboldt County has more in common with Redding than with Vallejo or Santa Rosa. East-West would combine rural counties with our common problems. North-South only makes sure the big cities and heavily populated areas dominate us. East-West obviously is a more reasonable line.

    The real reason that Salzman & the Democrat machine won’t allow it is partisan politics. North-South gaurantees a Democrat will represent this area. The party appoints its nominee & the voters do what they are told.

    An East-West split would give us truely competitive races.

  41. May 18, 2011 at 8:36 am

    For once I agree with High Finance. Maybe I should go to church or something.

    Redding is three times the size of Eureka. Shasta County has 1.5 x the population of Humboldt. Shasta County is relatively poor and rural like Humboldt.

    The metropolitan area of Santa Rosa is almost 500,000 people it is 105th in the whole United States. Santa Rosa is urban, relatively wealthy, and they use a lot of our water already.

    Redding is simply a better fit for Humboldt.

    If you like Santa Rosa what the hell are you doing living here in this (almost) paradise?

    RSalzman, don’t worry about the Republican Party. The California Republican Party is shrinking every year. Maybe one day soon, to paraphrase Grover Norquist the California Republican Party will be so small that we can “strangle it in a bathtub.” Just making a joke at Grover’s expense. I am not advocating violence.

    have a peaceful day,


  42. tra
    May 18, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Or maybe just as uncompetitive…but in the other direction.

  43. Eric Kirk
    May 18, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Richard – you’re right that I am fascinated by the prospect from a political science or even “sports” point of view, but that doesn’t mean I’m indifferent to the water issues or any other political issues at stake. Right now, what we have are districts which are drawn up mostly along partisan lines, which in some instances are congruent with regional economic interests. There are two philosophies at work here. One is what you advocate – that unified regional interests have an undivided focus in their representative – someone who will vote their way. We have our vote. Inland has its vote. All nice and tidy, and whatever happens, both pols are safe because they voted their local interests.

    You have another philosophy, which is that the best way to reach some sort of consensus over issues is compromise and discussion which might even generate a few win-win scenarios for consideration. In this case, you have diverse interests under one representation with town meetings – real ones – and a representative who has a direct interest in reaching solutions which address the complexity of the problems. Your assumption that the pol will ignore the 30 to 40 percent of the district west of the hills is erroneous in my view, because there are always basis for coalitions if we can get past the “fishing good – farmer bad” sentiments reflected in this very thread (and mirror sentiments inland) and focus on comprehensive policies which at least address the variety of concerns.

    Quite frankly, my only concern about the proposal is that I don’t know how practical a district-wide discussion would be with a mountain range between the communities, and whether I should have to drive 5 or 6 hours to attend such a meeting in my own district.

    But for that, I would argue that we should set aside the us vs. them paranoia and embrace the idea of competitive districts where discussion and compromise are at a premium.

  44. Eric Kirk
    May 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

    North-South only makes sure the big cities and heavily populated areas dominate us.

    Uh, HF, Redding is much larger than any city in our current district.

  45. Thirdeye
    May 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    The economies and demographics of Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino counties have more in common with Trinity and parts of Shasta and Siskiyou counties than with Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo counties. The current boundary of the First District extending from Del Norte into the southern Sacramento Valley is, frankly, absurd.

    Eastward expansion of the First District would incorporate mainly the Klamath Basin, not the Central Valley. The Klamath Basin communities in Siskiyou have an interest in a healthy Klamath River just as Humvoldt does. The agricultural users of Klamath water are mainly in eastern Siskiyou County. There already is a water rights conflict within the First District concerning the Russian River, the Eel River, and agricultural and urban water use in Sonoma County. There is no evidence that trading Sonoma for Siskiyou would impair coastal water interests any more than the current boundaries of the First District.

    I suspect that the coastal water issue is a red herring and the real concern is that maroon congressional districts would be less predictable than red and blue ones. But democracy is healthier when the center holds the balance of power, regardless of whether it is convenient for would-be power brokers trying to establish ideological colonies.

  46. Bruce Ross
    May 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

    For what it’s worth, as a matter of geography, Shasta County has very little irrigated agriculture. We’re home to the Central Valley Project’s big dams, but not the people down-valley who actually use the CVP’s water.

    A local fan of the east-west district who spoke at the Redding redistricting commish meeting (and, incidentally, is what passes for a liberal but not as far as I know part of any campaign or the local Democratic Committee) had a piece in the paper this weekend promoting one plan of his own. His whole point is to get the big Central Valley ag counties into a different district.


  47. Bruce Ross
    May 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Oh, and incidentally, the hostility over the Coast Range is mutual: http://blogs.redding.com/bross/archives/2011/05/lumping-coast-f.html

    But gosh, can’t we all just get along?

  48. tra
    May 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I suspect that the coastal water issue is a red herring and the real concern is that maroon congressional districts would be less predictable than red and blue ones.

    I’m not sure that it’s neccessarily a question of
    “red herring” vs “real concern.”

    I think for many folks, the water issues are important, and they think it’s better to have a (kinda-sorta) unified voice on those issues. They may be right or wrong, but I think there are plenty of people who are sincere in that opinion.

    But at the same time, I’m sure you’re right that there are many politicos who prefer separate, more predictable “red” and “blue” districts, rather than more unpredictable “maroon” ones. And I suspect some of those politicos are more than happy to use the water issues as a reason that the status quo congressional districts should be maintained.

    Anyway, this is an interesting discussion. I agree with Eric that some kind of redistricting at least merits some consideration. But I also agree that the little problem of having a huge mountain range running down the middle of the district may render an East-West district impractical.

  49. High Finance
    May 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Eric, 10.04am. The last I heard, parts of Santa Rosa & Vallejo are in our Assembly & State Senate districts.

  50. May 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Eric, It’s not about reaching consensus, it’s about winning the votes in the legislator on the issues that most concern the North Coast. Consensus would be needed only if these votes required unanimous approval, but that’s not the case. So far, our North Coast reps have been making coast water rights and support of our commercial fisherman a top priority. Why would we risk giving that up?

  51. High Finance
    May 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    It’s all about politics with you Richard.

  52. May 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Says HiFi, who also says he won’t shop at Pierson’s because of Bill P.’s politics.

    It’s about fish and water, two critical resources in Humboldt County last anyone checked.

  53. Eric Kirk
    May 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    HF – I think the State Senate incorporates those areas, but the Assembly only goes into the northern portion of Sonoma County and the Congressional District skips Santa Rosa altogether and goes over into Yolo County.

    Shasta County has about 160 thousand people (about the population of Santa Rosa I believe). Humboldt County has just over 130 thousand. If you throw Mendo and Del Norte into the mix, you probably have a certain level of parity.

    Richard – It’s not about consensus per se, but policy which takes a comprehensive approach. Sure,we have our votes, and they have theirs. That’s where it ends. But the valley is growing faster than the coast, which will eventually mean more inland votes. So we can take comfort that we have a representative who will vote our way no matter what. But we have no sway on those other votes. East-west districts would increase pressure on pols to come up with comprehensive long-lasting solutions. We don’t have that right now. Everything is about “I want mine.” And in the long run, we could come up short. And right now we have miles of mountains and light years of a culture gap to bridge.

  54. Eric Kirk
    May 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    From Bruce’s link about the feelings being mutual.

    As Fifth District Supervisor of Siskiyou County (western), my comment would be that we should NOT be redistricted to be included with coastal counties. They have consistently introduced legislation to canabalize our natural resource industries (logging, farming and mining) to benefit their own economy (fishing.) Current coastal representatives are on record for demonizing the people of Siskiyou County and their economic and cultural activities. One authored legislation that has shut down our entire suction dredge mining industry. Another, I personally heard tell people that she would actively work to shut down irrigation water to our farms. It would be a travesty if these same representatives were given the task to represent the people of Siskiyou County.

    And right now, we don’t have to deal with them, and they don’t have to deal with us. We have our votes, and they have their votes.

    Only, they’re growing.

  55. tra
    May 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm


    The other side of the coin is that in a new East-West district, it may be possible for inland politicians to win election by winning heavily in the East and not needing very many votes at all from the West. In which case we might end up with the worst of both worlds — not even our “one vote” from a Congressional rep based in a coastal district, nor any real attempt by the East-based politicians to take our needs and preferences into account.

    And since, as you say, it’s the East part of the district that is growing, that scenario would only seem to get more likely over time.

  56. Plain Jane
    May 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    The view of the Siskyou supervisor is shared by many “conservatives” here, although there is nothing conservative about their views about the environment. The use of the term “canabalize” to describe efforts to stop the degradation and depletion of rivers is particularly surreal.

  57. Bruce Ross
    May 19, 2011 at 9:23 am

    For those who have the impression that the northern Sacramento Valley has been growing quickly, I’d suggest a quick check of the latest census data.

  58. May 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Eric, I fully understand your position on this matter, and I also disagree. I think we’re much better off with our one (relatively) sure vote, even if they were to one day grow to get two votes, but mostly I agree with Tra that we’d likely end up with the worse of both worlds and have no vote, as has happen to Del Norte in the State Senate.
    Keep in mind that it’s not as simple as having a majority of votes in a given body. These folks do a lot of horse swapping and a single advocate can do a lot, as in the case of a congressman who sits in a safe district and uses his donor’s money to help fund other campaigns, or heads a committee or who’s one vote is needed elsewhere. We didn’t get millions of dollars to our commercial fisherman for fish kills and closed seasons because of the sheer number of representatives, but rather because of who they were and how much of a priority it was for them.

    Here an article from today’s TS on redistricting : http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_18103370

  59. May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am
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