However, the Tri-Cities – Fremont, Union City and Newark – remain together in one state Senate district.
Fremont leaders and the Indian American community, which lobbied the commission to remain whole in congressional, Senate and Assembly districts, are not happy about the new draft, scheduled to be made final Aug. 15.
“I am very disappointed that after all of the impassioned public testimony from the Tri-City community members, the commission chose to ignore the valid reasons to keep Fremont whole,” Fremont council member Anu Natarajan told India-West.
“We have worked hard to keep Fremont whole since it was formed over 50 years ago by combining five different townships. Both the congressional map and the Assembly map make little sense and splitting Fremont into two is definitely going to dilute our lobbying efforts on behalf of the city, split the Asian American population at the north and south ends and is definitely going to cause confusion about the representatives,” she said, noting: “There was a sense of hope when (earlier) drafts were released showing Fremont united - to now see Fremont split is completely disheartening.”
Entrepreneur Anil Godhwani, a co-founder of the India Community Center in Milpitas, who led a group of ICC members and Fremont city residents to lobby before the commission in San Jose, told India-West: “We are disappointed that Fremont was split. That said, we are very proud of how our community build broad coalitions to mobilize the community. The Indian American community will continue to contribute to the East Bay and in improving our community.”
The state redistricting commission, composed of five Democrats, five Republicans and four Independents, shifted the southern two-thirds of Fremont and the city of Newark into a congressional district including Santa Clara, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Milpitas and part of San Jose.
Congressman Mike Honda, D-San Jose, has indicated he will run for reelection in there, leaving part of his old district in southern San Jose behind.
Honda, 70, said he decided instead to run in the district that includes Fremont and Santa Clara because it encompasses more than half of his current constituents. Congress members are not required to live in districts they represent.
Honda and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, live in a newly drawn district that stretches south from San Jose past Morgan Hill.
The northern end of Fremont will now be in a congressional district that stretches north to Hayward and eastward to include Pleasanton and Livermore.
Congressman Pete Stark, D-Fremont, has announced he will seek his 20th term in Congress in the district, forsaking representing the city of San Leandro, which is upset that it is now grouped into congressional, state Senate and Assembly districts with Oakland, which dwarfs it in population.
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, has announced he would move from Pleasanton to the San Joaquin Valley and run for re-election in a district that includes eastern Contra Costa County and Stockton.
Ricky Gill, a Indian American Republican candidate for Congress in Lodi in San Joaquin County, issued a statement saying that McNerney’s “support for Washington’s failed policies and his complete neglect of the San Joaquin Valley have resulted in devastating unemployment. He might be the only person who thinks he can move here for a job.”
Gill, a law student who will be 25, the legal age minimum to run for Congress, a month before the primary next year, is the son of two physicians, grape growers and farmers in San Joaquin County. He said in a press release that he “knows firsthand the needs and cares of local farmers and families” and “cares about their jobs.”
McNerney, by contrast, “cares only about his own,” he said.
Union City and a northern part of Fremont, along with San Lorenzo and slivers of Castro Valley and San Leandro, would join the 18th Assembly District, currently represented by Rep. Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward), who will be termed out in 2012.
Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, a Union City resident who currently represents Union City, Newark, Fremont, Milpitas and parts of Sunol, Castro Valley and Pleasanton, and small sections of Hayward and San Jose, will either have to move from Union City and run in a new district that includes Newark, most of Fremont, Milpitas and parts of east San Jose, or stay in Union City and face off against challengers there. One of them could be Union City Mayor Mark Green, who has expressed interest in running.
Assembly members are required to live in the districts they represent.
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