The District Act, in addition to Federal and State law, requires that boundaries of electoral districts must be adjusted before the first day of November of the year following the year in which each decennial federal census is taken. Adjustment of electoral districts is usually accomplished through the completion of a redistricting study, to ensure that each modified district meets the one-person, one-vote test, and to ensure compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act. To assist with the completion of a redistricting study in an inclusive, transparent, and comprehensive manner, and in order to garner community input on redistricting, the Board of Directors established a Redistricting Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of seven community leaders from throughout Santa Clara County.
For more information on Valley Water's redistricting process, or to provide input, please contact Don Rocha, Deputy Administrative Officer at [email protected] or (408) 630-2338.
Redistricting Advisory Committee Members
To assist with the completion of a redistricting study in an inclusive, transparent, and comprehensive manner, and in order to garner community input on redistricting, the Board of Directors established a Redistricting Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee consists of seven members, with each Board member appointing one member.
Below are the members of the public who have been selected to lead the redistricting effort for the Valley Water Board of Directors.
Political Consultant (nominated by Director Barbara Keegan)
Emilie Gatfield is a political consultant, specializing in connecting clients with support from community groups and organizations. Ms. Gatfield began her professional career in accounting, working in the legal and manufacturing sectors, before transitioning into the non-profit sector. Within the non-profit sector, her work encompassed training, administration, and fundraising, always with a focus on meeting the needs of low-income communities. Since beginning to work independently, Ms. Gatfield has worked extensively with organized labor and neighborhood groups.
Ms. Gatfield has served on the boards of a variety of organizations, from non-profits focused on the needs of low-income communities to her homeowners association; she has also been an active member of the Democratic Party for many years, on both the county and state level. She has lived in Downtown San Jose for more than 20 years, with her husband and a varying number of cats.
Retiree, President of the Penitencia Neighborhood Association (nominated by Director Richard Santos)
Michael Kraus was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. Michael attended college at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Upon graduating with a BSEE, Michael moved to San Jose, CA and began his professional career at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, focusing on technical solutions, Subcontracts and Program Management, retiring in 2014. Michael is the president of the Penitencia Neighborhood Association and has been actively involved in the community since 2013. Accomplishments for Michael include but not limited to: City of San Jose Commendation, RLEI - Neighborhood Champion, California Legislature Assembly Community Hero, California State Senate Community Certificate of Recognition and UNSCC and Catholic Charity Penitencia Neighborhood Association Award.
Director of Sustainability, Zanker Recycling (nominated by Director Linda LeZotte)
Mr. Gross has been in the waste and recycling industry since 1979 when he started his own garbage collection company while still in high school. In 2011, Mr. Gross was named the Director of Sustainability for GreenWaste and the Zanker family of companies. This position allows him to coordinate and institutionalize sustainability efforts across divisions and among business relationships. He focuses on greenhouse-gas emission reductions, procurement opportunities, C&D diversion opportunities, waste management and recycling alternatives, and marketing. He provides leadership to reach the company’s environmental goals, advocates the transformation of the waste industry, and works with the community to integrate sustainability into their daily lives. Mr. Gross is a board member of the Recycling Certification Institute, Santa Visits Alviso Foundation and the Legacy Alviso Foundation.
Professor, West Valley College (nominated by Director Nai Hsueh)
Howard Miller moved to Santa Clara County in 1985 and Saratoga in 1993 and, with his wife, raised 5 kids. He is named on 20 patents, retired from Apple in 2016 and is currently a Professor at West Valley College. He holds a BS in Engineering from Cal Poly and a MS in Computer Science from Stanford. He was elected to the Saratoga City Council in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Mayor in 2011, 2015 and 2020. He served on regional agencies, notably: VTA Policy Advisory Committee for 11 years; VTA HWY 85 committee 4 years; Silicon Valley Clean Energy board for 4 years; West Valley Solid Waste JPA for 5 years. Prior to public office, he held various board positions in the Saratoga Soccer AYSO; On the SUSD Technology committee; Assistant Scout Master; The Kevin Moran Park Taskforce; among others. Howard has always been involved in his community.
Alfredo M. Morales
Principal Attorney, Morales & Leaños (nominated by Chair Tony Estremera)
Mr. Morales was born and raised in San Jose and attended schools in Eastside San Jose. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1972 and from UC Berkeley Law School in 1975. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He is a principal in the firm of Morales Leaños. Mr. Morales’ firm handles criminal defense, civil rights and personal injury cases.
Since graduating from law school Mr. Morales has been a member of the San Jose Housing Commission, County Planning Commission and a member of the board of directors for the Mexican Heritage Corporation. He is also a member in good standing with the State Bar of California, Santa Clara County Bar Association and the La Raza Lawyers Association.
Systems Engineer (nominated by Vice Chair Gary Kremen)
Raven Malone is a Systems Engineer with an Undergraduate and master’s degree in electrical engineering. She worked for the United States military as an Electrical and Systems Engineer for 6 years before moving to California and switching to the private sector. Her professional resume includes software development, leading a team of engineers on a multi-billion dollar classified program, and creating new technology for the Army. In 2020, she ran for City Council in Palo Alto where her main issues were creating better infrastructure, advocating for more housing, and reimagining public safety. While she lost her election, she is committed to bringing important issues to the table and lifting the voices of those who feel unheard. She is a member of Palo Alto Forward, Peninsula Young Democrats, the 2021 board for the Peninsula Democratic Coalition, and she serves as the liaison for Josh Becker for the Democratic Central Committee.
Redistricting Guidelines and Procedures
Guidelines for the Redistricting Advisory Committee
In establishing the Committee, the Board of Directors adopted the following guidelines:
- Comply with all the applicable laws, including the avoidance of gerrymandering.
- Equalize the population count in each district within 5-7%.
- Minimize the dilution of votes and avoid the fragmentation or over-compaction of minority and disadvantaged communities.
- Maintain cohesive neighborhoods within electoral districts and, where possible, keep neighborhood associations within a single district.
- Avoid moving current elected Valley Water Board members out of their districts.
- To the extent possible, recognize the importance of parks, creeks and public facilities in districts.
- To the extent possible, provide income diversity within electoral districts.
- Strive to balance district interests with county-wide interests, but not at the expense or exclusion of individual districts.
- Ensure that minority and disadvantaged communities have opportunities to participate in the redistricting process, including specific opportunities for timely and meaningful comment.
Redistricting Advisory Committee Operating Guidelines, Direction and Procedures
The Board of Directors re-adopted guidelines, direction and procedures for the Committee from 2011. These guidelines, direction and procedures are to maximize public participation while ensuring an open, fair and transparent process. The adopted guidelines, direction and procedures for the Committee are as follows:
- The Committee shall follow all applicable Federal and State laws in addition to the criteria established by the Board of Directors for the redistricting process.
- The Committee, through its public discussions, shall provide the sole and only direction to Valley Water staff and supporting consultants for any and all changes to the redistricting maps under consideration by the Committee.
- The Committee shall consider all maps created by any member of the public through the public participation process.
- The Committee shall ensure that all meetings are open/accessible to the public.
- The Committee may establish subcommittees, as needed, for specific activities or goals. These meetings shall be open to the public.
- The Committee will be subject to the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.
- As a standing Committee meeting agenda item, the Committee members shall disclose any and all conversations with any parties, internal or external of the Valley Water District, including the name or names of the parties and the contents of communication, whether verbal or written, regarding Valley Water District redistricting.
- All emails, letters, phone calls and other official communications regarding redistricting will be documented and copies will be provided to the Committee as part of every agenda.
- No member of Valley Water staff or Board of Directors shall attempt to influence the Committee while the Committee is engaged in the process which will result in a map or maps being sent to the Valley Water Board of Directors for their consideration and deliberation.
Redistricting Schedule, Agenda and Minutes
|April 20, 2021||Committee Orientation||Agenda||Minutes||Recording|
|January 26, 2021||Approval of Redistricting Committee Nominations, Guidelines, Procedures, and first meeting agenda||Minutes||Recording|
|Meeting -Implementation of Countywide Redistricting Process Required Following the 2020 Census||Agenda||Minutes||Recording|