SANTA BARBARA, CA – March 30, 2021 – Today the Santa Barbara City Council appointed the City’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).  The IRC is charged with drawing electoral redistricting maps using 2020 Census Bureau data.  The electoral maps are used to assure the City’s six electoral council districts comply with state and federal law.

Pursuant to the City Charter, the IRC will consist of three retired state judges who are not residents of Santa Barbara County:

Honorable Melinda A. Johnson (Ret.), Chairperson
Honorable Abraham Khan (Ret.), Commissioner
Honorable Elizabeth Allen White (Ret.), Commissioner

Mayor Cathy Murillo welcomed the three-judge panel noting, “The City Council is very pleased to welcome these distinguished jurists to Santa Barbara.”

Judge Melinda A. Johnson (Ret.), Chairperson of the IRC added, “Guaranteeing every citizen the right to vote in a fair and open election is the first principle of our democracy.  I am honored the Santa Barbara City Council has chosen me to serve on the commission designed to assure that right to the people of your city.  I am looking forward to working with city officials, and meeting directly with Santa Barbara voters, to fulfill that responsibility.”

Judge Elizabeth Allen White (Ret.) shared that, “I look forward to working with the Commission on this important mission. Honoring voters’ rights is crucial to the maintenance of our democracy and the redistricting process is key to ensuring that all voices, and ultimately all votes are heard.”

Judge Khan (Ret.) expressed that “I am gratified and humbled by the decision to include me as a member of the Independent Redistricting Commission, and I recognize its importance to the entire community we will be serving!” Judge Khan is a native Spanish speaker and Judge White (Ret.) is also fluent in Spanish.

The City anticipates receiving census data in the fall with hearings to follow. The community will be alerted to events in late summer.


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