Seal Beach residents and officials want the town to remain in the same Congressional district as coastal cities such as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.
The City Council on Monday, Dec. 13, unanimously approved a resolution to the California redistricting commission asking that Seal Beach continue to be in the same district as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. The council also authorized the mayor to sign a letter supporting the resolution that would be addressed to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
The most recent map, as of Monday, appeared to give Seal Beach exactly that. However, an earlier map was not. Two council members, citing the fluidity of the process, argued that the resolution should be approved and that the letter be sent out.
Every 10 years, Congressional, state, county, and city districts are redrawn based on the Census data.
The item was requested by District Two Councilman Thomas Moore. Councilman Moore himself, in his recent newsletter to District Two residents, pointed out that Seal Beach was not being moved out of Orange County.
The vote was unanimous.
“Seal Beach is located within the 48th Congressional District, which also includes the northern Orange County coastal communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach,” according to the staff report prepared by Management Analyst Lauren Barich.
“The Commission has received input from the public, with a few advocating for adding all the coastal communities within Orange County into one congressional district,” Barich wrote.
“If the Council approves Resolution 7218 (Resolution), staff will need to work quickly to get the letter to the Commission, as the process is in its final stages and the Final Report Meeting begins on December 21st,” Barich wrote.
“Final maps are required to be displayed by December 23rd and need to be certified by the Secretary of State by December 27th,” Barich wrote.
Council members weigh in
District Five Councilwoman Sandra Massa-Lavitt said she totally agreed with the resolution. “We have a common interest with other coastal cities that can’t be understood by non-coastal cities,” Massa-Lavitt said.
She said the way things had been for the past 10 years had worked out well.
District Four Councilwoman Schelly Sustarsic said: “It looks like we’re good right now.” However, she said things are fluid. Sustarsic indicated that sending the letter would be a good way to protect the city’s status.
Councilman Moore said he thought it would be good to do this. He said it was important to be in the same district as Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.
Incidentally, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission held a meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, that overlapped the time of the Seal Beach City Council meeting. Details of that meeting were not known at editorial deadline.
The following is the text of the city’s letter, as taken from the staff report:
“California Citizens Redistricting Commission 721 Capitol Mall, Suite 260 Sacramento, CA 95814
“Thank you for the Commission’s work throughout the redistricting process. The task of redrawing electoral boundaries is incredibly intensive and certainly complex.
“On behalf of the City of Seal Beach, we respectfully request the Commission to place the City of Seal Beach in the same congressional district as the cities of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. As northern coastal communities within Orange County, we share common interests, concerns, and challenges. Remaining in the same congressional district would be beneficial in ensuring the continued prosperity of our communities.
“We appreciate the opportunity to share this request with you. Thank you for your continued work on these important matters on behalf of our residents and all Californians.