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The Census is Coming -- Will We Matter?

Every ten years after the Census count is completed, local jurisdictions redraw lines to ensure “one man, one-vote” representation is carried out. This applies to Congressional Districts, state Legislative Districts, County Supervisorial Districts and any sub-county local jurisdictions - like the City of Sacramento or SMUD - that elect their representatives by district or ward. All of them will have their representational lines redrawn. What will happen to the UnCity? Will we be in a different Supervisorial District and forgotten again? Will we remain disenfranchised?

This blog has written on past occasions about how our community is invisible, doesn’t matter, etc. Of course, cities matter. They exist. They are their own jurisdiction. And even some other unincorporated areas are, you know, “more important” than we are - or at least it seems so - because they have freeway signs, or public art, or a zip code bearing the community’s name. Except certainly not here in good old Arden Arcade. We have three zip codes that all say “Sacramento”, only one of which (95825) is shared with the City of Sacramento. The freeway signs say which way is Carmichael, but do not say anything about Arden Arcade. There are some small County signs west of Mission that welcome you to Arden Arcade. Drive past Mission on Arden and there is a huge Welcome-to-Carmichael monument. OK, fine, we’re used to it. No big deal. Or is it? Look at the graphics below and you will see three of our neighborhoods that were split into two congressional districts (gerrymandered) after the last Census. Residents of those neighborhoods were just numbers to the Census and redistricting bean counters back in 2010. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to whether they (or some other nameless local neighborhood) will be pawns again for the 2020 Census and its subsequent redistricting? Now, it is true that these neighborhoods can get not just one vote in Congress, but two. However, the greater likelihood is that their members of Congress don’t even know where these neighborhoods are, let alone what issues matter to voters there. Besides, given that redistricting could easily move boundary lines a few blocks, why should elected officials care about these neighborhoods on their borders anyway? Well, alright, maybe some of their donors live in these places. Surely the congressional members care about the streets where their donors live. Is your neighborhood a donor-rich area? If not, maybe you should get ready for another 10 years of being ignored.

May contain: nature, outdoors, landscape, scenery, and aerial view
Currently gerrymandered Congressional Districts split the Cottage Park Creekside neighborhood
May contain: outdoors, nature, landscape, scenery, urban, aerial view, and building
Currently gerrymandered Congressional Districts split the Sierra Oaks Vista neighborhood
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