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KCBX News Update: North SLO County grouped with South San Jose in new congressional maps, and UC schools may go back to remote instruction

Congressional District 19 groups North SLO County — including Paso Robles, Atascadero and Cambria — with South San Jose.
California Citizens Redistricting Commission
Congressional District 19 groups North SLO County — including Paso Robles, Atascadero and Cambria — with South San Jose.

State redistricting commission finalizes district maps

New maps for California’s district lines are now in place, and there are some changes coming to how SLO County votes in congressional elections.

The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission completed and approved final maps for the state’s Congressional, Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts last night.

The commission drew four Board of Equalization districts, 52 Congressional districts, 40 Senate districts and 80 Assembly districts.

In one of the state’s new congressional districts, North SLO County — including Atascadero, Paso Robles and Cambria — has been grouped in Congressional District 19 which stretches all the way up to south San Jose.

Meanwhile, the City of San Luis Obispo is grouped with much of Santa Barbara County and further down to Ventura.

The commission is bound by certain rules when creating new maps: districts must be of equal population size, comply with the Voting Rights Act, be drawn contiguously, minimize the division of communities like cities and counties and be geographically compact.

There are also rules for how Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts are grouped.

Republicans have criticized the new map for favoring Democrats, who currently control more than 75 percent of state Senate and Assembly seats.

There is now a public comment period for the final maps, and the next commission meeting is scheduled for Dec. 26.

You can see the final maps at wedrawthelinesca.org.

University of California to require boosters, may institute temporary online learning 

Amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, booster shots will be required of all eligible students and staff at University of California schools in the upcoming term.

That’s according to UC President Michael V. Drake, who sent a letter to UC chancellors today which also brought up the possibility that the schools reinstate remote instruction in the new year.

If that happens, Drake said, the length of time that classes go remote could vary from school to school.

Several UC’s including Riverside, Irvine and San Diego have already announced that they will go remote for at least the first two weeks of teaching in January.

UC Santa Barbara has not yet made a decision.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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