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Redwood City Council amends redistricting maps to include mobile homes

Members will vote to advance a map during the Feb. 14 council meeting.

After nearly an hour and a half of deliberations, the Redwood City Council Monday night voted to revise one of the proposed redistricting maps and revisit the discussion in two weeks. The meeting was the fourth public hearing on the redistricting process. 

The motion, proposed by Council member Lissette Espinoza-Garnica, amends Draft Plan C2 to incorporate the mobile home parks along East Bayshore Road into Friendly Acres. It passed with six votes, former mayor Diane Howard dissenting.

Draft Plan C2 was one of two recommended by the Advisory Redistricting Committee (ARC), which were voted on unanimously by the committee during their final meeting on November 17 and presented to the council in December. Three publicly submitted maps were also considered.

The suggestion to include the mobile homes with Friendly Acres was first raised during the public comment. 

Lou Covey, a resident of Friendly Acres, said he was glad to see the mobile home parks included in his district, “because they are part of our neighborhood.” 

Resident Rona Gundrum spoke on behalf of the publicly submitted maps, explaining that Friendly Acres, the Stambaugh-Heller neighborhoods and the mobile home parks should stay together because of their shared community of interest concerns.

During the council discussion, several points were raised, including the diversity of each map, whether to consider ARC-recommended maps more seriously and how to minimize confusion for residents when adopting new districts.

Vice Mayor Diana Reddy said she has heard from many people who are “frustrated and kind of upset about the district maps and not knowing where they belong.” She said that “exacerbating the confusion around that is not something that I want to do” and spoke in support of publicly submitted map 95144, describing it as “minimal change.”

Howard also supported the publicly submitted maps, specifically for their inclusion of the mobile home parks within the Friendly Acres neighborhood.

“I've been working with the mobile home parks since the late 80s,” she said. “I know that they feel very much a part of Friendly Acres; they go to their neighborhood meetings; they shop at Marsh Manor; they feel a part of that community. They have schools in common. They have sea level rise and flooding in common. So for me, it was very important to identify a map that was encompassing the mobile home parks as part of a bigger community where they felt very much at home.”

Espinoza-Garnica said they felt "the same insecurity about the mobile homes" and proposed a motion to amend map C2 to group the mobile home parks with Friendly Acres. Council member Jeff Gee seconded the motion.

Expressing "a lack of enthusiasm for fixing a map when we have two perfectly good maps," Reddy spoke in support of the publicly submitted maps.

Howard, who also expressed interest in the publicly submitted maps, said she was not ready to vote on one map and put forward a motion to "study further both maps 95144 and C2." Reddy seconded the motion.

Howard's motion failed, while Espinoza-Garnica's passed.

The council will reconvene to vote on advancing a map during the Feb. 14 city council meeting, which will be formally adopted two weeks later. By law, the city has until April 14 to submit a final map to the county.

Plan C2 divides 10 neighborhood associations, while keeping seven intact, according to the staff report. It keeps Redwood Shores in one single district and Farm Hill and Canyon in another. The map keeps portions of Eagle Hill, Central and Roosevelt together around Red Morton Park and groups portions of Woodside Plaza with Palm.

Other maps discussed were Plan B, also recommended by ARC, as well as three publicly submitted maps, Map ID 93875, 95144 and 99395, with slight deviations.

All maps have a plan deviation below the 10% ceiling from the ideal population size for each district, as determined by the city. Both maps create two districts that are more than 50% Latinx and more than 37% Asian. Both maps maintain the City’s two current majority-minority districts, with a population of more than 50% Latinx residents and more than 37% Asian residents.

Redistricting, which happens every ten years, is meant to realign the seven voting districts for the roughly 85,000 people that live in Redwood City.


Leah Worthington

About the Author: Leah Worthington

Leah is the lead reporter for the Redwood City Pulse. A Bay Area native, she has written about everything from biotechnology to true crime. When she's not writing, you can find her running or baking. Habla español!
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