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Redistricting State Assembly: Union City Splits from Tri-Cities

Second redistricting maps show Union City splitting from Tri-Cities in state Assembly.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) is in his first term of representing an irregularly-shaped area that includes the Tri-Cities. But if the new redistricting maps are finalized on Aug. 15, he will be pushed farther south and out of Union City.

That may be good news for Union City Mayor Mark Green.

Wieckowski currently represents Union City, Newark, Fremont, Milpitas and parts of Sunol, Castro Valley and Pleasanton, plus tiny portions of Hayward and San Jose.

The new map released Friday shows Wieckowski staying with Newark and most of Fremont as they shift south to include all of Milpitas and parts of east San Jose.

Union City and a northern part of Fremont along with San Lorenzo and slivers of Castro Valley and San Leandro would join the 18th Assembly District, currently represented by Rep. Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward), who will be termed out in 2012.

Union City would lose Wieckowski as its representative since state lawmakers are required to live in the districts they represent.

If the maps are approved, it would leave the new district seat up for grabs. 

"I'm not going to lie. I'm strongly considering getting into that race," Green said Friday.

Green, an independent who has served as mayor of Union City since 1993, is also the president of the Association of Bay Area Governments and the vice chair of the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority. He said he'd bring something to the district that it hasn't had before.

"I'm not one who follows a prescribed instruction book on how to vote [and] I won't pull the rug under local governments," Green said.

Green has been a strong proponent for redevelopment in its ongoing battle with the state, which Wieckowski did not support.

While Wieckowski has said he prefers for the Tri-Cities to stay together, he noted the members of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission faced challenges since Pleasanton and the Berryessa neighborhood in San Jose have been split in the past.

The Tri-Cities have numerous regional organizations. We read the same newspaper, we get the same cable TV," Wieckowski has said. “My hope would be that Fremont and Newark could be united, and in my best world Union City would be united also, because of the economic interests that we have together.”

Green thinks it might be a good thing for Union City.

Green has said his town would still be aligned with the portion of Fremont it shares its border with and, although it has ties to the Tri-Cities, joining a district with Hayward makes sense.

Union City currently shares more of its border with Hayward than with any other town. The New Haven Unified School District serves parts of Hayward as well, and both cities are represented in District 2 on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Green said.

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