California’s recent loss of a Congressional seat in the 2020 census shifts representation for Davis
By CHRIS PONCE — email@example.com
After the new census data is released every 10 years, states must use these numbers to redraw districts. The results of the 2020 census have impacted the state of California, with one of the most significant changes being that the state has lost a Congressional seat. This is the first time California has lost a House seat in the state’s history.
This outcome can be attributed to a decrease in population growth in California. Before the 2020 census, the state had 53 Congressional seats. The number will drop to 52 during this year’s election. The effects of redistricting have trickled down to Davis and the surrounding local areas. UC Davis Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department Ben Highton spoke on the impact of the census data.
“[Because of the] census and change in population distributions across the country, California lost one house seat, so we are down to 52 from 53,” Highton said. “My general understanding is that [that] seat is being lost in Southern California, not in Northern California, so that impact is relatively muted up here. But at the same time, whether or not a state gains, loses or doesn’t change the number of seats that it has, because of the requirement of equal population across districts, everytime we have a census, we need to redraw.”
California announced its newly redrawn districts in December 2021. There are no changes to California’s Assembly seat (District 4), which has been represented by Cecilia Aguiar-Curry since 2016. Davis’ State Senate seat (District 3) has also seen no changes after the redistricting and is still being represented by Bill Dodd, who was elected in 2016. The biggest change is that the city now finds itself ousted from California’s third Congressional District and a part of California’s newly drawn District 4.
California’s prior third Congressional District consisted of more than 700,000 citizens. The District included all of Yuba, Sutter and Colusa county but also included parts of Yolo County. California’s newly drawn District 4 includes Lake, Napa and Yolo County.
Following the redistricting, Davis’ current Congressional Representative now finds himself in a different district. House Representative John Garamendi has represented California’s third Congressional District since 2013. Representative Garamendi was very interactive with the Davis community, having his district office near downtown Davis where students could volunteer or work as interns.
Instead of being a citizen of District 4, Representative Garamendi is now a citizen of District 8. California’s new District 8 includes much of Solano County and the Fairfield area. Representative Garamendi announced his campaign for Congress in California’s new District 8 on Dec. 20, 2021 in a statement on his campaign website.
“The 760,000 residents of the 8th Congressional District want a proven progressive who will fight for them every single day,” the website reads. “That’s exactly what I’ve done my entire tenure in Congress, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. That’s why, today, I’m kicking off my re-election campaign for Congress.”
As a seat is left open by an incumbent (Garamendi), new attention is now drawn to Califorania’s fourth Congressional District. The party demographics are very similar to that of former District 3. CA-3 consisted of a 41% Democrat and 30% Republican population prior to the census and CA-4 now consists of a 49% Democrat and 23% Republican population.
Among those seeking the opportunity of the open seat in CA-4 is Congressman Mike Thompson. Thompson, who has represented California’s fifth Congressional District since 2013, announced his candidacy for reelection in California’s fourth Congressional District on Dec. 21, 2021. Thompson made his announcement on his campaign website.
“I was born, grew up and have lived my entire life in the newly numbered Fourth Congressional District,” Thompson said. “The outpouring of support I’ve received is humbling and I’m looking forward to working with state and local leaders on the challenges we face.”
The primary election will be on June 7 this year. Check your registration status or register to vote at How to Register to Vote | USAGov. More information on the final maps after redistricting can be found at Final Maps – We Draw the Lines CA.
Written by: Chris Ponce — firstname.lastname@example.org