Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 20, 2011

Tri-Valley cities seek 'community' recognition in redistricting

Pleasanton wants to stay in single supervisory district

by Jeb Bing

Five Tri-Valley cities are petitioning a redistricting commission to keep their municipalities together as new legislative districts are drawn to meet changing population centers in the Bay Area.

The city councils of Pleasanton, Danville, Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon have signed a joint letter to the Citizens Redistricting Commission that is meeting in Sacramento, calling this area "a community of interest." It asks that "our boundaries should be respected during the redistricting process."

At the same time, the Pleasanton City Council is urging that any redistricting of supervisory districts in Alameda County keep Pleasanton in a single district. Some supervisors have indicated that they would like to divide the city into two districts: with District 1, represented by Supervisor Scott Haggerty, including those parts of Pleasanton south of Stoneridge Drive, and District 4, represented by Supervisor Nate Miley, including all portions of Pleasanton that are north of Stoneridge Drive.

The county board of supervisors has established a redistricting ad-hoc committee to oversee the redistricting process. The committee is planning a series of public hearings throughout the county, although none is scheduled in Pleasanton, which is the only city being considered for a split-up.

The Tri-Valley region is spread over three neighboring valleys at the eastern end of Alameda County and the southern end of Contra Costa County.

"Despite the fact that we are in two separate counties, our residents identify far more with the Tri-Valley region than either Alameda or Contra Costa counties," the letter signed by representatives of the five cities states.

"In fact, we believe that the Tri-Valley can be considered a model for regional collaboration throughout the state in many traditional and non-traditional ways."

Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho, whose council was the last to sign the letter Tuesday night, said the Tri-Valley shares a common identity and spirit among its residents.

The joint letter further states:

"Residents of our five cities depend on the same transportation networks, we have similar demographics and sources of employment, businesses have formed partnerships throughout the area, our children play in the same sports leagues, and local governments collaborate on a multitude of regional projects.

"Some specific examples on how our five jurisdictions formally collaborate include the Tri-Valley Transportation Council, which identifies and funds needed projects to relieve congestions in our region.

"We are all partners in the Tri-Valley Housing and Opportunity Center, which is an agency that jointly manages our five cities' affordable housing programs and services.

"Tri-Valley Community Television is another entity that focuses solely on programming unique to our region.

"Other smaller agencies such as the Dublin San Ramon Services District, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, and Zone 7 are entirely within the Tri-Valley.

"Our city councils meet together in joint sessions on issues of regional concern every few months, while our mayors, city managers and staffs meet both formally and informally several times a month to further solidify public partnerships.

The five city councils also pointed out in their letter that much of their communities' cultural and economic lives revolve around the Tri-Valley. The Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding tourism options; Innovation Tri-Valley is a private sector collaborative of leading businesses firms in the five cities; the Tri-Valley Business Council represents private business interests in the five cities; and the five Tri-Valley cities are partners in I-Gate, a partnership with the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories.

"The Tri-Valley has flourished over the years due to our tremendous cooperation," the five city councils stated. "Our region is poised for even great excellence moving forward.

Fialho said the councils want to keep the Tri-Valley in one state Senate district with any newly drawn Legislative districts recognizing the homogenous characteristics of the five cities.

Currently, Pleasanton, for one, is in three state legislative districts, two state Senate districts and two Congressional districts.

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