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While 100,000 SLO County residents will be voting in strange districts during their next local election cycle due to the partisan inclinations of our very own local body of electeds, the state's nonpartisan, independent redistricting commission split SLO County up for both state and national representation.

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According to CNN, the commission didn't take into account existing district lines or where representatives lived, which means incumbents aren't necessarily protected for 2022, a good thing in the grand scheme of things but a bad thing for existing electeds starting with Republican holdout Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo).

Cunningham, who's managed to thread the needle on being a moderate conservative who isn't crazy enough for the right-wing nutters in North County, has been unusually quiet about what the commission did to him—making it much harder for him to win another election. He's losing a very dependable base of conservative voters in Santa Maria and picking up a reliably liberal base of voters in Big Sur and Monterey.

Meanwhile Dawn Addis, a Morro Bay City Council member who lost to Cunningham in 2020, is just tickled pink about the new district. She's so tickled that she announced her candidacy for Assembly before the new districts were even in their final draft stage!

"We believe the new Central Coast Assembly district will be very receptive to Dawn's experience and values," campaign spokesperson Michael Soneff told New Times in November—meaning, "In your face, Cunningham!"

You think Republican Party of SLO President Randall Jordan is wishing he could take back all of the not-so-nice things he ever said about Cunningham's conservative bona fides?

Well, at least North County conservatives should be excited about one thing: U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) will no longer be their representative! But, before they count those Republican chickens, they should know: It's not going to be much better for their side of the aisle in the future. The new congressional district puts rural North SLO County in a mostly coastal district that runs up through Big Sur into Monterey, Santa Cruz, and parts of San Jose!

Very liberal! What's RPSLO going to do? Maybe self-destruct and take the Patten map with it? That would be nice.

You know what else would be nice? If the Paso Robles Unified School District could go back to being more concerned with actual education policies than national political issues. But here the school board goes, plunging itself back into the spotlight for being a partisan mess with current board President Chris Arend leading the way.

He can't get enough of himself and his opinions and managed to sneak critical race theory into the board's appointment process to replace board trustee Jim Reed, who quit. Not only did he accuse candidate Adelita Hiteshew of being too "flowery" and "emotional," he also accused her of supporting critical race theory while she was being critical of the board's decision on a high school ethnic studies course.

"She was obviously in favor of introducing critical race theory," he said during the Dec. 7 board meeting.

"She never said that," murmured other board members in response.

Arend is obviously in favor of stretching and craning his neck to hear and see the things that fit within his worldview.

Can't have no women on this school board! They don't have the disposition to be dispassionate about important decisions!

We need to be "ice cold," he said. Umm, this isn't wrestling, Arend. It's making policy decisions about educating children in our public school system.

Arend is so cold and detached from his personal beliefs that he told New Times he wanted a conservative to fill the vacant board seat. Even though it's supposed to be a nonpartisan board.

"Mr. Arend's emotions got the better of him, and he chose to use what I can only refer to as a dog whistle to other members of the board who might agree with him, that a woman cannot sit on that seat who is not in agreement with them, because she would be 'emotional,'" Hiteshew said.

I couldn't have said it better.

You know who else is emotional? Veterans in Cambria, and I don't blame them at all. And guess what? Not all of them are women.

"We're upset about this whole thing because nobody even asked us where we'd like to see these things," Brian Griffin said about losing a handicap parking spot to EV chargers at American Legion Post 432 in Cambria.

The Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) got a sweet little grant from the SLO Air Pollution Control District to install the chargers, but CCSD General Manager John Weigold said he doesn't know why the chargers were placed where they were. Umm, aren't you the general manager?

It's kind of like the superintendent at Atascadero Unified School District feigning ignorance about the harassment and bullying at Atascadero High School after more than a hundred students protested against it during the last week of school. Superintendent Tom Butler said the district takes allegations of bullying and harassment seriously, but anonymous posts on Instagram? He didn't specify: "Sharing things on an anonymous Instagram is quite a bit different than reporting them to authorities," he said.

But students only started an Instagram page because they felt "authorities" at the high school weren't listening. So there's that. Δ

The Shredder always listens. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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