Advertisement

Our Opinion: Redistricting right?

September 01, 2001

it's rare when both sides can claim victory in anything, but a shared victory might be the case when it comes to the state legislative districts in which Imperial County apparently has been placed.

We won't know whether Imperial County is a winner in the preliminary reapportionment maps released last week by the state Legislature for years, but we do know both those who wanted more of a connection with San Diego and those who wanted more of a link with the Coachella Valley can each claim a victory. The reapportionment maps are preliminary, but they were created by Democrats and should essentially be rubber-stamped all the way through the approval process by a Democrat-controlled state government, even though they are horribly gerrymandered to all but the most partisan Democratic eyes.

The Imperial Valley's Assembly seat will be shared with the Palo Verde Valley and parts of the Coachella Valley. The district will be highly Democratic and highly Hispanic, which means it is likely that a Democrat, possibly a Hispanic Democrat, will be elected to the seat in the first election for the seat next year.

Advertisement

We have heard there are some such candidates in Imperial County with their eyes on that prize, but only time will tell if they can successfully pursue it. It may just be time a Hispanic represented Imperial County in the Assembly. Still, we must say that Dave Kelley, formerly our state senator, now our assemblyman and a Republican, has done a wonderful job for us over the years. It appears we will lose Kelley, an Idyllwild area resident, to redistricting, and in many ways that is too bad.

Our state Senate seat will head north a bit and take in part of the Coachella Valley up to the Cathedral City area, but also head west into south San Diego County all the way to Chula Vista. This will again be a highly Hispanic, highly Democratic district.

Denise Moreno Ducheny, a former Assembly leader who represented southern San Diego County, makes no secret she has her eyes on that Senate seat. Ducheny, a bilingual Democrat, has already made forays into Imperial County to test the waters and drum up support. If she wins, she would head into the Senate seat as an already powerful leader in Sacramento, and that would be good for Imperial County.

We like that we will be linked to a place such as Chula Vista rather than a place such as Rancho Bernardo in the state Senate, as is now the case. Our concerns and political needs are much more border-oriented than suburban. We also like that we will continue to be in the same district with our friends and families in the southern Coachella Valley, an area that shares much of our cultural and economic concerns.

Overall, so far, reapportionment appears to be mostly a good thing for Imperial County … but it's early.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles
|
|
|