Miller Losing Martinez In The New Congressional Boundaries

Congressman will no longer represent his home town under the proposed new district boundaries.

Congressman George Miller is ready to represent central Contra Costa County again, but he will no longer represent his home town of Martinez.

That's the scenario that has developed due to the new congressional districts being proposed by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission today.

The commission is drawing up new districts for Congress, state Senate, state Assembly and the state Board of Equalization.

They officially released their final preliminary maps this morning. The commission will take public input over the next two weeks. They are  scheduled to approve those maps on Aug. 15.

Miller's current district consists of Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, San Pablo and Richmond as well as Vallejo and Vacaville.

The new district lies mostly in central Contra Costa County. It includes the towns of Concord, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and Richmond. A small part of Martinez is also in the district, but most of the city is in a new district that represents Solano and Napa counties.

Miller, a Martinez resident who has been in Congress for more than 30 years, has represented many of the communities in his new district in the past.

"This district is where George Miller was born and raised," said Daniel Weiss, Miller's chief of staff. "It's a good fit for him."

The new district has its quirks.

The city of San Ramon has been moved to the congressional district that includes the Tri-Valley and southern Alameda County. Rep. Pete Stark represents that region, but there is no word yet from his office on whether he will seek re-election.

The new district also splits Martinez. Part of the city is in Miller's new district. Most of the new district Martinez is in includes Hercules, Vallejo, Santa Rosa and St. Helena.

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder said it's ironic Miller's hometown as well as the Contra Costa County seat is the city being divided up.

"It's disappointing and a bit shocking," he said.

Schroder said he believes Martinez's location just south of Solano County made it an easy target for commission members who were trying to carve out districts with equal populations.

"It's not devastating. It's not something that can't be rebuilt," Schroder said, "but it seems like they just came down and grabbed us because they needed another 30,000 or 40,000 people."

The new district is causing other shifts.

Rep. John Garamendi may be headed north while Rep. Jerry McNerney seeks re-election eastward.

Garamendi currently represents parts of central Contra Costa County in a district that winds its way from Walnut Grove in southern Sacramento County to Antioch to Livermore to Walnut Creek to Lamorinda to Fairfield and Vacaville.

Weiss said they expect Garamendi to run in one of the two new districts in the Sacramento area. Garamendi lives in Walnut Grove.

The congressman's office said he will make an announcement later today on the new districts.

The new district also takes Rep. Jerry McNerney out of the San Ramon Valley.

McNerney said Thursday he plans to move from his home in Pleasanton to the San Joaquin Valley to campaign for re-election in a new district there.

That district is made up mostly of San Joaquin County and eastern Contra Costa County. The cities include Lodi, Stockton, Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood.

Chris Kapsalis July 29, 2011 at 09:33 PM
I asked my congressman , he said quote, I'd like to help you son but you live North of 4.
cameron mccord July 31, 2011 at 04:45 AM
Chris, Eddie Chochran says that there aint no cure for the summertime blues.
Chris Kapsalis July 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM
I don't know. A big BBQ Cheeseburger might do the trick!! And an improved economy! But if it's a spare the air day, well anyway. I will also throw on a burger for our new congressperson, whoever that may be.
Hope Savage July 31, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Rep Mike Thompson: http://mikethompson.house.gov/Biography/
Chris Kapsalis July 31, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Cool. Thanks Hope. I will write him and see what he likes on his hamburger.


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