Under proposed changes to California's congressional and state legislative districts, Santa Rosa would be separated from much of Sonoma County and aligned politically with rural and conservative Central Valley enclaves.
"It makes no sense whatsoever," Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, said Friday.
The 6th Congressional District that Woolsey has represented since 1992 would be reconfigured under proposals made public Friday by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
The district's current Sonoma-Marin boundaries would elongate to include a large swath of territory from the Golden Gate Bridge to Del Norte County.
However, cities in southeast Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Sonoma, would shift to a new inland district that includes Lake, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Yuba and part of Yolo counties.
"They disenfranchise the North Coast," said Rep. Mike Thompson, a St. Helena Democrat who represents the 1st Congressional District that stretches from Napa County through Sonoma County to the northern coastal counties.
"They made one continuous congressional district from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border," he told the Los Angeles Times. "Whereas in the past we had two voices for the people in that area, and now we have one."
Political observers said none of the proposed changes to state and congressional districts that include the North Bay and the coast are likely to loosen the stranglehold that Democrats have on those seats.
But the restructuring, coupled with the state's new open primary system, could intensify battles between liberal and more moderate Democrats.
Woolsey, who has not publicly said whether she plans to retire next year, said the proposed changes go against the commission's mandate to keep districts compact and contiguous, and to respect city and county lines and "communities of interest" as much as possible.
She said residents inside her district's current boundaries share common concerns about the coast, agriculture, Highway 101, Russian River water resources and plans for commuter rail.
"It would be just a shame to divide that up," she said Friday.
The commission's proposals also would break apart the 2nd Senate District currently held by Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.
Under the changes, Santa Rosa would be included in a new district encompassing Napa, Solano and parts of Contra Costa, Sacramento, Yolo and San Joaquin counties.
"I call this the foreclosure district," said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist. "The only common community of interest in that whole swath are people who have been thrown out of their homes."
Evans did not return a call Friday seeking comment.
The Santa Rosa Democrat is said to be considering a run for Woolsey's seat if the congresswoman retires. But if Santa Rosa is moved into another district, it could pose problems for Evans.
"The fact that she was not a resident of the district would be front and center of almost all of the coverage presented to voters," McCuan said.
Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has already signaled his intent to run for Congress, and he would live in the newly drawn district that would span Marin County and most of Sonoma County, all the way north to the Oregon border. It also would include Lake County.
The commission is proposing relatively modest changes for the North Bay's Assembly districts.
The district shake-up is the result of California voters passing Proposition 11 in 2008 by a vote of 51 percent. It created the citizens commission to set state Senate and Assembly district lines.