CENSUS RESULTS: Eureka’s population has changed quite dramatically over the past ten years, and you can help solve the problems that have resulted! | Lost Coast Outpost
It took a little longer than expected, for reasons we’ll get to shortly, but here we are a month later with the latest episode of CENSUS RESULTS, focusing on the city of Eureka. Read to the end – it comes with the reintroduction of fun and productive LoCO play for you civic-minded citizens of Eureka.
Why are the 2020 census results important? For many reasons (federal funding is important), but what we want to look at right now is how does that count for
redistricting – the process of demarcation between the different electoral constituencies for legislative purposes. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is responsible for doing this for our state and federal offices — assemblyman, state senator, congressman — and they are currently at the heart of this process. They must divide the state into roughly equal sections of population so that each section elects its own legislators.
The same thing happens for county supervisors. Each of the county’s five supervisory districts must be approximately the same size, so that – for example – Supervisor Mike Wilson represents the same number of voters as Supervisor Virginia Bass. The lines between the two districts are to be rearranged every 10 years to realign these population figures. The Supervisory Board itself will decide on the new boundaries in the coming months, with input from a citizen-led redistricting advisory committee convened for this purpose.
Since 2016, when Eureka adopted the “real ward” system for city council elections, it has to do the same as the county. And it turns out he has to do it in a very dramatic way, because for some reason – I’m not discounting low census response rates, or some other weird incident – the official population in each of the five wards of the city varies enormously from each other now.
First, an overview: as you will recall, the 2020 census figures that Eureka has declined significantly over the past 10 years. In 2010, the census had the population of the city at 27,191. By the 2020 census, that figure had fallen to 26,512, a loss of 679 souls.
In recent weeks – and on paper, at least – the city has recovered some of it. First, it appears that the census erroneously excluded five census blocks in the Rosewood neighborhood from the city limits. (See map here.) When we checked with Riley Topolewski, senior planner and GIS specialist for the city government, he told us that this sort of thing had happened before. In such cases, he said, they informed the Census Bureau, and the Bureau quickly rectified its error.
So we’re going to assume, until we hear otherwise, that those five city blocks are actually within the city limits. This would add 91 people to the city’s population, for a total of 26,603.
But there is more, at least as far as the task at hand is concerned. California recently passed a law stipulating that people incarcerated in a state prison should not be counted at the prison where they are, but at their home. The California Department of Justice was instructed to provide this data to the State of California database, which would then publish amended Population census at redistrictors around the state.
The state database released those numbers yesterday, and 90 people so incarcerated were returned to the city of Eureka — not in their bodies, but in their minds. The city’s population, for redistricting purposes, now stands at 26,693.
In an ideal world, each of the city’s five neighborhoods would therefore have exactly 5,338.6 inhabitants. (Let’s round that up to 5,339.) But they don’t at all! Check out how it actually breaks down:
|room||Member of the board||Population||+/-|
|First of all||castellano||4,953||-386|
Big difference! For some reason, according to the Census Bureau, Eurekans have migrated en masse to the Third Ward (the pink on the map up there) and away from the First Ward (purple), and the Fourth and Fifth a bit too. .
The pink room must shrink – a lot – and the others must grow. Over the next several weeks, City of Eureka staff and council will be working to draw new, equally proportioned city neighborhood maps and, if all goes as planned, adopt one by the end of the year. ‘year. They are also supposed to organize several public forums on the subject.
But why wait? If you recall, the current map of the Eureka district was drawn right here on the Outpost four years by an anonymous user called “MAD Balancing Act” four years ago. Using our cool tools, MBA drew their fantastic neighborhood map – and when the city council and its advisory board saw it, they quickly threw out all the other alternatives and made it so.
So let’s start again! The cool tool has been reloaded for 2020, and you can find it at this link. Draw your own fucking map! Be your own recutter! A full set of instructions can be found at this link, but it’s pretty straightforward. Choose a map you like – either the current city map or one created by LoCO staff. Clone it. Name your cloned card. Start clicking to transfer census blocks to neighboring neighborhoods. When you have it the way you like it, and when all the neighborhoods are balanced and contiguous (meaning every block in every neighborhood is geographically connected to the other blocks in that neighborhood), then go ahead and post that sucker! Tell us your reasoning in the “description box”. You can’t do it on your phone, I don’t think.
→ ONCE AGAIN THE 2020 EDITION OF THE LOCO REDISTRICTION CAN BE FOUND AT THIS LINK ←
Finally: you say you wish there was a similar tool for county board districts? There are! Click on the “Districtr” app and map your county here – your feedback will go directly to the County Redistricting Advisory Committee.