Corbett, Hayashi Drawn Out of San Leandro

SAN LEANDRO COULD BE REPRESENTED BY SEN. LONI HANCOCK; ASM. SANDRE SWANSON IN ASSEMBLY

By Steven Tavares

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California State Senate districts as proposed
 Friday by the Citizens’Redistricting Commission.

Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett has been  San Leandro politics for the better part of two decades. Her mayoral victory in 1994 was in some cases the beginning of a strong, but politically fortunate rise to the state Senate, but if first drafts of the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission stand, her strong base in San Leandro could be lost.

The commission announced Friday, San Leandro would be cut out of Corbett’s district and moved to include Sen. Loni Hancock’s area encompassing Alameda, Oakland and Berkeley. Corbett, who is termed out in 2014, would take on more of the South Bay. In addition to Hayward and Fremont, Corbett’s district would run clear down to Downtown San Jose.

The potential loss of Corbett, who is very popular in San Leandro, is likely to face stiff opposition. Following her stint as mayor, she also represented the city in the state assembly for eight years and easily won re-election to the state senate last November.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi could also be drawn out of San Leandro. The commission appears intent on coupling the city along with Alameda and nearby neighborhoods in Oakland.

California Assembly districts proposed Friday.

Hayashi’s district, one of the many drawn with peculiar boundaries due to excessive gerrymandering would still include Hayward, Castro Valley and Union City along with a sliver of Fremont, but also jut eastward.

The new senate maps were not the only potential problem for Corbett’s political future and possibly Hayashi. The congressional district held by Rep. Pete Stark may become vastly more moderate if draft maps include Alameda County’s more agricultural constituents in the east. Corbett, along with Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and a host of potential candidates have kept a keen eye on Stark’s seat, if he were to retire. Both Corbett and Hayashi are two of the most liberal members of the State Legislature.

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