Redistricting still splits Menlo, but along 101

All of Menlo Park west of 101 would be in Eshoo's district

Click on maps to enlarge and see captions.

By Dave Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has divided Menlo Park into two congressional districts, but the border will be U.S. Highway 101 under the latest proposal released Friday, July 29, not the broad swath that had run through the center of the city under an earlier proposal, running from 101 and stopping roughly just east of Sharon Heights.

If the commission approves the final drafts on Aug. 15, the map for the new 18th Congressional District, represented by Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, will include Menlo Park west of U.S. 101, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley.

The Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park and unincorporated North Fair Oaks will be represented by Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, as will East Palo Alto and Redwood City.

"I think that's just a horrible shame," Councilwoman Kirsten Keith said in a phone interview. "Belle Haven is Menlo Park. (The representation) needs to be be all of Menlo Park."

Ms. Keith wrote a letter to the redistricting commission protesting the original plan to assign central Menlo Park and Belle Haven to one district and Sharon Heights to another.

"It doesn't make any sense. I am hoping they will revisit this," Ms. Keith added.

Would grouping Belle Haven with East Palo Alto and Redwood City, cities with similar demographics, give the residents more clout with their congressional representative?

"I don't know," Ms. Keith replied.

The populations of the two districts are listed as within the required range of plus-or-minus one person. According to statistics provided by the redistricting commission, Ms. Eshoo represents 702,906 residents of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, and Ms. Speier represents 702,905 in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

As for the redrawn state Assembly and Senate districts, the significant change for this area is that Portola Valley and Woodside, now represented by Sen. Leland Yee, would move to the Senate district that includes Menlo Park and Atherton and is represented until November 2012 by Sen. Joe Simitian.

Rich Gordon, who represents these four communities in the state Assembly, would see his long and thin district no longer stretch south to Los Gatos, but stop around Santa Clara and expand westward to include Half Moon Bay, San Gregorio and Pescadero.

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Like this comment
Posted by qtion
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 1, 2011 at 10:36 am

is it a d_city or r_city ?

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I thought districts were to be compact and contiguous, not just another gerrymander. Oh, well.

Like this comment
Posted by dlefemd
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

How did this happen and who voted? was it on the ballot?v84k

Like this comment
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

This strange gerrymandering of Jackie Speier's 14th congressional district to include the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park east of 101 is interesting because it puts East Palo Alto and Belle Haven (both very heavily impacted by low flying SFO arrival traffic) in the 14th congressional district instead of the 18th (Anna Eshoo), where Jackie Speier will have to balance the impact of air traffic on these neighborhoods against the value of SFO to her 14th congressional district.

Airport politics is at work in the gerrymandering of these districts? Belle Haven and East Palo Alto sacrificed on the alter of SFO?

"New Study - Plane exhaust harming communities up to 10 miles from LAX"
LA Times ~ May 29, 2014

Like this comment
Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

"New Study - Plane exhaust harming communities up to 10 miles from LAX"
LA Times ~ May 29, 2014 Web Link

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