After six months of outreach, research, hearings, map-making, and revisionist map-making (and the obligatory charges of gerrymandering) the California Redistricting Commission has submitted its final redistricting maps to the Secretary of State.
The new boundaries mean that Los Alamitos and Rossmoor will definitely have a new representative in Congress next year and that they will continue to be more tied to Orange County than Long Beach for state representation.
The main changes on the final map took Seal Beach and part of Congresswoman Young Kim’s hometown of La Habra out of the 46th District, and replaced it with Cerritos, Artesia, and Hawaiian Gardens. The new boundaries give Democrats about a 5 percentage points advantage based on voter registrations) which theoretically reduces Kim’s chances to get re-elected. But Kim is Asian-American and the new district includes the Little Saigon area of (Westminster, Garden grove, and Fountain Valley), as well as Cypress and Cerritos — all with strong Asian communities. It is estimated that the new district will be about 38% Asian American.
Kim will of course face Democratic challengers but she will also be “primaried” by more conservative Republicans. Fuji Shioura announced his candidacy with a flurry of pejorative against Kim, including “Never Trumper.” The OC Breeze has the announcement.
Seal Beach again stays part of Michelle Steele’s 47th District, along with most of the Orange County coastal cities down to just south of Laguna Beach. But this district now includes a heavy inland chunk of much more Democratic Irvine. So it was no surprise when Democratic Rep. Katie Porter announced last week she’ll seek reelection in 2022 in the newly drawn coastal district that includes her hometown of Irvine, but is not her current House seat. Porter’s shift to the coastal district, where voter registration will lean Democrat by just one point, raises the prospect of Porter facing off against GOP Rep. Michelle Steel, who lives in Seal Beach. Some feel Steele may run against Kim in the 46th, but this would seem unlikely, considering that the very large independent vote will likely not side with the Democrats in 2022.
Due to a loss in California population in the 2020 census, the state lost a congressional seat for the first time in history — and theoretically, part of that honor went to Orange County which used to have territory in seven house seats, but will now touch only six. But in reality, while Democrat Alan Lowenthal had good relationships in Los Al, Rossmoor, and parts of Cypress, he was far more connected to his much larger base in Long Beach. Lowenthal announced last week he was retiring from Congress.
Overall, most media watchers opine that the new redistricting tends to favor Democrats over Republicans. The LA Times declared it “good news for Democrats.” Democrats won all seven OC seats in 2018 in the Great Anti-Trump Reaction, but Republicans won two of those seats back in 2020.
The new State Senate District includes Huntington Beach, F9untain Valley, Westminster, Stanton, the western half of Garden Grove, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, Cypress and the carveout of Cerritos, Artesia, and Hawaiian Gardens.
The State Assembly Districts places Seal Beach (south of the 405) in an Orange County Coastal clump of the Beach cities south to Laguna Beach, and a huge slice of South County that includes Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, and Foothill Ranch.
Los Al, Rossmoor, Cypress and College Park East and West are in Assembly District 70, which also includes Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Westminster, and the northernmost neighborhoods of Huntington Beach.