Redistricting Commission to host first in-person meeting at Cabrillo High

The first in-person meeting of the Long Beach Independent Redistricting Commission will happen at Cabrillo High School July 14 as the commission transitions away from the remote meetings held since last November.

City officials had been searching for suitable options that allow a large audience to attend while also having the technical capacity that will allow the city to stream the meetings to those watching at home. The previous 17 meetings have all been held remotely due to pandemic restrictions.

Bradley Bounds, a project planner in the city manager’s office, confirmed this week that Cabrillo had been selected for the July 14 meeting for current residents of the city’s 7th City Council district, which includes most of West Long Beach, California Heights and parts of Bixby Knolls.

The commission has already completed digital outreach meetings in the first and second districts, and is hosting a meeting Wednesday for District 3, which includes southeast Long Beach.

No announcements have been made for future hybrid-meeting sites, which will be held weekly between July 21 and Aug. 18. Four other citywide meetings are scheduled between Sept. 8 and Oct. 20.

The commission was formed through a ballot measure in 2018 to help redraw lines that will determine which residents get to vote in which district for City Council races, something that happens every ten years after the federal Census is completed.

Delays in the Census caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed back the anticipated completion date for the commission to draw new district lines but it is currently in the process of holding informational community meetings to explain the process and of reason for redistricting, as well allowing individual districts to highlight “communities of interest.”

Communities of interest can be specific neighborhoods or other enclaves that share common social, economic or cultural interests. The city released a new mapping tool that allows residents to submit their ideas for district lines and a form to outline communities of interest.

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Jason Ruiz has been covering City Hall for the Post for nearly a decade. A Long Beach resident, Ruiz graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. He and his wife Kristina and, most importantly, their dog Mango, live in Long Beach. He is a particularly avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, which is why he sometimes comes to work after the weekend in a grumpy mood.