The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved new supervisorial district boundaries that will stay in effect for a decade and reflect the most recent numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census.

The board unanimously approved what was called the “Communities Together” proposal for the county’s five districts. Two of the new ones, District 1 and District 5, will have a majority of eligible voters who are racial or ethnic minorities, while the new Districts 2 and 4 have about even numbers of white and minority voting-age residents.

“Four of the five districts provide significant opportunities for traditionally under-represented groups to elect candidates that reflect the values of their communities,” Board of Supervisors president David Canepa said. “This is a significant achievement in drawing lines that respect the makeup of our communities today.”

The “Communities Together” redistricting map adopted by San Mateo County supervisors on Dec. 7. (Image courtesy of County of San Mateo)

A 15-member Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Commission with the county had voted in October to recommend two maps to the Board of Supervisors following a series of public meetings.

Federal and state law requires the districts to be updated every 10 years following the release of the new Census data. They must be balanced in population, with communities of interest and cities staying intact as much as possible, among other criteria.

The board gave its initial approval Tuesday for the “Communities Together” proposal, with a final vote tabbed for Dec. 14. When approved, the boundaries will first be used in the June 2022 primary election.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time and put in the effort to get involved and to give their input,” Supervisor Don Horsley said. “Ensuring we have districts that minimize divisions and empower local communities is the very essence of representative democracy.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.