FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 25, 2022
Contact: Josh Hugg
Midpen Receives Excellence in Technology Award
Los Altos, CA— Today, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District received the 2022 Excellence in Technology Award from the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) for its Equal Representation: Midpen's Ward Boundary Redistricting Project. The award recognizes a technology-related district program or project has improved efficiency within the district, service to its constituents or improved transparency. Midpen’s project utilized new, interactive mapping tools to assist residents throughout the latest redistricting process.
“We developed a suite of interactive mapping applications to help solicit public feedback, visualize proposed changes and encourage discourse in a transparent manner,” said Jamie Hawk, project manager for Midpen’s redistricting process.
As with other public entities across the country, Midpen is required by law to ensure that its seven geographic areas, or wards, that area represented by publicly elected board members, remain substantially equal in population every ten years. Over the 50 years since Midpen was founded by voters, its boundaries have expanded to span portions of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties and contain 17 cities along with significant rural populations. This redistricting cycle’s process was particularly challenging due to COVID-driven delays in obtaining 2020 U.S. census data.
Following an extensive public outreach campaign, the Midpen board of directors adopted a simple, road-centric ward boundary plan that equalizes ward populations and improves community cohesion. For more information on Midpen’s redistricting process visit openspace.org/redistricting.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s mission is to acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space land of regional significance in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education. On the San Mateo County coast, our mission also includes preserving agricultural land of regional significance and rural character and encouraging viable agricultural use of land resources. Midpen has successfully protected more than 70,000 acres of public open space land in the Santa Cruz Mountains region since 1972. openspace.org