Agenda Item   



                                                                                                                        ASR Control  21-000515




legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):

All Districts

SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

County Executive Office   (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Jessica Witt (714) 834-7250 



Nicole Walsh (714) 834-6257



Subject:  2021 Redistricting Plan Update


      ceo CONCUR

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board


No Legal Objection

Public Hearing



3 Votes Board Majority




    Budgeted: N/A

Current Year Cost:   N/A

Annual Cost: N/A




    Staffing Impact:


# of Positions:            

Sole Source:   N/A

    Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

  Funding Source:      N/A

County Audit in last 3 years: No



    Prior Board Action:         5/25/2021 #50, 2/23/2021 #3, 12/8/2020 #17






Receive and file 2021 Redistricting presentation.



Open public hearing to allow public to provide input on composition of supervisorial districts and proposed Updated 2021 Redistricting Plan and Timeline, take public testimony and close the public hearing.



Approve Updated 2021 Redistricting Plan and Timeline.








Approval of the updated 2021 Redistricting Plan and Timeline and receipt of presentation will provide information about the County’s redistricting process and the schedule of opportunities for public engagement.





Every 10 years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed.  This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each board member represents about the same number of constituents.  In Orange County, the Board of Supervisors (Board) is responsible for drawing supervisorial districts. 


Prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 849 (AB 849) in 2019, the California Elections Code gave a general description of the factors the Board must consider in drawing supervisorial district boundaries. Those factors have now become mandatory considerations that are listed in order of priority: (1) geographically contiguous districts (each supervisorial district should share a common border with the next), (2) the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division, (3) geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division, (4) easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.) and (5) lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.


The Election Code previously required only one public hearing on a proposal to adjust the boundaries of a supervisorial district, prior to the public hearing at which the board would vote to approve or defeat the proposal. Under AB 849, cities and counties are required to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding a minimum of four public meetings and/or workshops and doing public outreach, including to non-English-speaking communities.      


Since the last update to the Board on February 23, 2021, the state and federal governments announced timing for the release of census data which provided additional clarity for the County’s redistricting efforts and timeline. On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau provided apportionment counts to the President.  The federal government announced that it will release Legacy-format P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data file by August 16, 2021.  This legacy data is the same as the P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data but requires substantive additional processing for use.  The state has announced that the Statewide Database will process and release P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data, adjusting for incarcerated individuals to counties, and it is expected to be released to local jurisdictions the end of September 2021.


In prior census years, data collection was complete by July of the census year.  However, due to challenges in collecting data posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau extended data collection to October 2020.  In addition, during prior census and redistricting cycles, the Census Bureau has released data to the states by April of the year following the census, this year, the P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data is expected to be released by September 2021, nearly five months later than prior redistricting cycles. The significant delays on the release of data by both the federal and state governments have created a very tight timeline for local jurisdictions to complete the redistricting process, which by law must be complete by no later than December 15, 2021, to allow for those districts to be ready for use in the June 7, 2022 primary election. 


The Updated 2021 Redistricting Plan proposes elements that meet and exceed the requirements of AB 849. The 2021 Redistricting Plan and Timeline includes information on the state criteria for drawing districts, public outreach requirements (website, public hearings/workshops), public assistance in preparing redistricting plans, language access information and record keeping/retention standards.


In addition to the four required public hearings, County staff is recommending a redistricting workshop in each Supervisorial district this summer before release of the data. These workshops will provide the public with information on the redistricting process, a forum for providing feedback on communities of interest and the map drawing process, and available resources for submitting complete redistricting plans. Also, prior to the district workshops, staff plans to hold a virtual meeting with community-based organizations, government entities, media and other trusted messengers to provide information and seek assistance in spreading the word on how the public can engage in the redistricting process.  The Registrar of Voters will also conduct a virtual Redistricting Academy in July to provide additional information on redistricting and their role in the process.   


Other prior actions taken by the Board related to the 2021 redistricting include approval of a contract for Redistricting Support Services with CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation on December 8, 2020, and a contract amendment with ESRI, Inc. for the Redistricting Solution on May 25, 2021.


















Attachment A – Redistricting Presentation
Attachment B – Updated 2021 Redistricting Plan and Timeline
Attachment C – AB 849