PRESS RELEASE from San Mateo Count on April 20, 2021.
“San Mateo County has elected only one Latino and no Asian supervisors in the past 25 years” ~The SF Examiner
Redwood City – Applications are now open for residents who want to serve on a County
of San Mateo commission that will study and recommend draft boundaries for the five
supervisorial districts based on the 2020 Census.
This is a once-a-decade opportunity to help influence district boundaries that reflect new
population data and demographic changes. The Board of Supervisors is seeking candidate that reflect the diversity of San Mateo County.
The application is available on the County’s website in English, Spanish, Chinese and
Tagalog. Applicants can fill out an online form or print and mail a completed form.
Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 4, 2021.
“Diversity and inclusion – those are guiding principles here in San Mateo County and those qualities are what we are looking for on this extremely important Commission,” said David J. Canepa, president of the Board of Supervisors.
“We are actively focusing recruitment on applicants who reflect the incredible diversity we have here on the Peninsula. We want everyone to feel they or someone who represents them has a seat at the table,” he said.
Board Vice President Don Horsley said the process of studying the district lines is
fundamental to the democratic process.
“Districts that are roughly equal in population ensure that every resident in San Mateo
County has an equal voice in local government,” he said. “We are encouraging residents
who come from all regions of our county to apply to the Commission, which will further
help ensure the districts represent our diverse communities.”
All applications will be forwarded to a committee formed by and composed of local chapter members of the League of Women Voters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.
The League of Women Voters committee will assess applicants based on the following
• Commissioners must be residents of San Mateo County.
• Elected officials are not eligible to serve on the Commission.
• The selection process will prioritize applicants associated with good government,
civil rights, civic engagement, and community groups or organizations that are
active in the County, including those active in language minority communities, with
the goal of forming a Commission with membership that is geographically diverse
and consistent with the County’s emphasis on valuing diversity, equity, and
The League of Women Voters will recommend candidates for the Commission to the Board of Supervisors, which will make the final selection at a public meeting. The Board is expected to select 11 residents to serve on the Commission, plus one or more alternates.
Once formed, the Commission will hold a series of public meetings to study the boundaries of the County’s five supervisorial districts. The Commission’s work will be supported by a professional demographer and County staff.
Following an extensive public outreach process, the Commission will recommend draft
district boundaries to the Board of Supervisors, which approves and adopts a final map.
It is anticipated that the Commission’s work will be completed by the end of 2021.
However, applicants should be willing and able to serve longer if necessary.
Every 10 years, following the federal Census, the Board of Supervisors is required by law to ensure the County’s five supervisorial districts remain substantially equal in population.
At a public meeting on January 26, 2021, the Board of Supervisors decided it would appoint an advisory Commission to consider public testimony and input regarding the County’s supervisorial districts and recommend a draft map or maps for adoption by the Board.
The Commission must comply with the following criteria when considering district maps:
- District boundaries must comply with the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- To the extent practicable, district boundaries must be contiguous, so that all parts of a district are connected.
- To the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods, communities of interest, cities, and census designated places must be respected in a manner that minimizes their division.
- District boundaries should be easily identifiable and understandable by County residents.
- To the extent practicable, district boundaries must be drawn to encourage geographic compactness.
- Districts cannot be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
Chief Communications Officer
County Government Center
400 County Center, 1st Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063