The boundary, as proposed, roughly follows Highway 17, then cuts back and forth through Scotts Valley like a mad jigsaw operator, cuts back onto Graham Hill Road through Zayante, continues straight through the middle of Ben Lomond, turns up Alba Road, runs north along Empire Grade past Jamison Creek, then cuts west to the coast at the north end of Swanton Road, heading north along Highway 1 and taking a dip in the ocean at Waddell Creek (that just can’t be right), before it finally peters out just south of Año Nuevo.
I can understand why they cut out Watsonville, connecting us to Monterey by a thread west of Highway 1, and lumped in Morgan Hill and Gilroy — apparently because Watsonville would have more in common with Salinas than with Santa Cruz or Monterey, although I’m not sure what connects us with Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
But I cannot begin to understand why they cut our community in half, leaving the northernmost parts of Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley as orphans attached to the southern part of a district that includes Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Palo Alto.
There is no community of interest between the northern half of SLV and Silicon Valley. Some vague connections could be called on between Scotts Valley and Silicon Valley, but I think there are many more connections with Santa Cruz County. Certainly there are no common media, leaving voters in the Silicon Valley district having to go far afield to find news of candidates who will certainly focus their campaign dollars in the voter-packed cities to the east.
Surely there is some more logical way to draw this line that does not sacrifice the voices of voters in northern Santa Cruz County.
The only way this will change is if the commission hears from people living in this area. From now until June 30, there will be public meetings — the closest is on June 25 in San Jose — or you can comment online at http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov.
The next draft of maps will be released July 7. Let’s raise our community’s voice and hope that we can reunite our county for the next decade’s elections.
Here is a link to a good map of the districts: www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-redistricting-map,0,4015285.htmlstory/.
Pam Newbury is a Bonny Doon resident.