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photo credit: Courtesy the City of Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is in the final stages of its redistricting process. The city council chose a new map Tuesday, and heads for final approval on April 12th. The new map, called version A2, preserves the current boundaries of districts 1, 6, and 7, which cover parts of Roseland and Coffey Park. And the neighborhoods west of Stony Point Road. According to the city, Map A2 shifts about 3,000 residents among districts to meet state requirements.

Chris Chaffee is with Redistricting Partners, a consultancy hired to help with the redistricting process in both Santa Rosa and Petaluma. He said because of uneven population growth throughout Santa Rosa, the original proposed map needed to be reworked.

"District two grew faster than the rest of the city and is currently at 7.7%." Chaffee said. "Whereas district four did not grow as fast as the rest of the city. It's underpopulated by almost 13%."
 
In Map A2, the Bennett Valley district shrank. And the district around Santa Rosa Junior College and areas of Fountaingrove, was expanded. Chaffee said Map A2 still respects recognizable boundaries.
 
"All of these lines, we, we try to use major thoroughfares and your neighborhood lines to create as few, um, splits as possible." Chaffee said.

This round of redistricting is a first for Santa Rosa, which only switched to district elections starting in 2018. For Vice Mayor Eddie Alvarez, allowing residents to develop some familiarity with the districts is most important. He said Map A2 does that.
 
"Most importantly, with district elections, being something new for the city of Santa Rosa, I believe it's important that we let our residents not be confused by moving the lines so to speak." Alvarez said.

With unanimous approval by the city council, the new districts will go into effect this November. That's when the city council seats for districts 2, 3, 4, and 6 are voted on in the 2022 General Election.
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