Redistricting efforts have been completed.
The District Act, in addition to Federal and State law, requires the board to review the boundaries of the seven electoral districts established pursuant to Section 7.7 before November 1 of the year following the year in which each decennial census is taken. The boundaries shall be adjusted if needed in accordance with Section 22000 of the Elections Code so that each electoral Santa Clara Valley Water District Act district is as nearly equal in population to the others as possible. 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.
To share your ideas and feedback about the Redistricting process, you can also visit our online engagement site Be Heard Valley Water.
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.
The Redistricting Advisory Committee completed all of its public outreach meetings for each of the seven electoral districts, consistent with the Board’s criteria for developing a draft redistricting map.
On January 12, 2022, the Redistricting Advisory Committee voted unanimously by roll call vote to recommend bringing Plan 2 of the redistricting maps to the Board of Directors meeting for consideration. On January 25, 2022, the Board of Directors adopted final new electoral district boundaries, as recommended by the Redistricting Advisory Committee.”
The Committee is now disbanded.
Santa Clara County Elections Commissioner (nominated by Director John Varela)
Ms. Edwards moved to Morgan Hill, California in 1989 from Portland, Oregon. She was educated at the University of Oregon, with a major in Construction Management and a minor in Psychology. She has three grown daughters and one son, a San Jose Police veteran of 27 years.
Ms. Edwards became involved in the Democratic Party in Santa Clara County in 1995. She is active in Morgan Hill as a member of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, AAUW, and graduated in the Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2013. Awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2019 for Valley Water and became a Valley Water Ambassador in the same year.
Ms. Edwards was appointed to the Santa Clara County Election’s Commission by Supervisor Mike Wasserman in 2016 and remains a Commissioner to the present day. One of the top issues at the Commission is redistricting.
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.
Vaishali (Shali) Sirkay
Vice President & Program Director, Peninsula Democratic Coalition (nominated by Vice Chair Gary Kremen)
Vaishali “Shali” Sirkay moved to the Bay Area from New York City in 2002, and has lived in Los Altos since 2007. She has one child who will be heading off to college in 2022. She holds a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Barnard College at Columbia University.
Ms. Sirkay has a long history of being active in both her local community and in Santa Clara County. A lifelong Democrat, she serves as the Vice President & Program Director of the Peninsula Democratic Coalition. She is currently an elected board member to the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees (President of the Board in 2021). She is a commissioner on the Santa Clara County Juvenile Justice Commission, where she sits on several committees and co-chairs the Equity and Justice Committee. Ms. Sirkay is committed to supporting the health, safety and wellbeing of children and families in Santa Clara County.
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 Meeting Schedule, Agenda and Minutes
|Redistricting Advisory Committee Meeting Schedule [pdf]
|Redistricting Advisory Committee Meetings
|January 12, 2022
|Map Drafting Meeting #2
|December 1, 2021
|Map Drafting Meeting #1
|November 3, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #7 for District 1
|October 27, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #6 for District 2
|October 20, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #5 for District 3
|October 13, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #4 for District 4
|October 5, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #3 for District 5
|September 29, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #2 for District 6
|September 22, 2021
|Outreach Meeting #1 for District 7
|September 15, 2021
|Census Data Release Meeting with presentation to RAC on existing districts and new populations
|August 18, 2021
Training Session #3
|July 14, 2021
|Training Session #2
|June 23, 2021
|Training Session #1
|April 20, 2021
|May 25, 2021
|Approval of the Nomination of Ms. Swanee Edwards
|January 26, 2021
|Approval of Redistricting Committee Nominations, Guidelines, Procedures, and first meeting agenda
|Meeting -Implementation of Countywide Redistricting Process Required Following the 2020 Census
To access the recordings, please contact Glenna Brambill at [email protected].