Do you know the 4th?

Do You Know The 4th?

No, not the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects against “unlawful search and seizure.!” No, we’re talking about the 4th Congressional District of California, currently represented by Tom McClintock (R).

A Midterm Exam (Just for fun!)
True or False:

  1. California’s 4th Congressional District (CD4) is one of the smallest in the state in terms of population and geography.
  2. Currently, four women are running to replace Congressman Tom McClintock in 2018. If one of them is elected, she will be the first woman in history to represent CD4.
  3. Tom McClintock is from Southern California. While he has been CD4’s Congressman for many years, he has not resided in or owned a residence in the district during that time.
  4. CD4 is home to three of America’s most beautiful National Parks.
  5. The number one industry in CD4, in terms of annual payroll, is forestry.
  6. California’s 4th Congressional District is and will always be a Republican stronghold; there is no way a Democrat can be elected to Congress from the district.


1. False. California’s 4th Congressional District is big. Running almost 190 miles north to south, at its widest point the district stretches nearly 170 miles (east to west). It covers roughly 13,200 square miles of land and water (much of the latter accounted for by Lake Tahoe, which California shares with Nevada). It is also home to nearly three quarters of a million people, about 450,000 of whom are registered voters.

2. False. In 1924, CD4 (which for decades was centered in San Francisco), elected Florence Prag Khan (Republican). She served in the U.S. House of Representatives until she was defeated for reelection in the FDR landslide of 1936.

3. True. Despite its size and its beauty, Tom McClintock does not live in the Congressional district he represents. His home is in Elk Grove, 15 miles from the western edge of the district. Worse yet, McClintock “carpet bagged” from the Los Angeles suburbs, which he represented in the State Legislature for two decades. Does that make you wonder why he is so eager to dam up our rivers and streams for “storage”? Where do you suppose he wants to ship our water? Just asking…

4. True. Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are all within the CD4. Protecting these national treasures from exploitation should be high on the list of priorities of our Representative in Congress.

5. False. While worthy of protection as an important income source (and point of historic pride) for many residents, the forest industry is not a major driver of the local economy, producing just under $30 million in income to our residents annually. Contrast that to the health care and social services sector, which accounts for nearly $2 billion in annual income. As we look to grow the local economy and to create good, high paying jobs for our families, we need to look to the future, not to the past.

6. False. CD4 is changing demographically, economically and politically, and Tom McClintock’s grip on the district is anything but secure. Sierra Forward recently commissioned a highly sophisticated public opinion survey, and the results stunned us. One tidbit from the poll results: When asked if they would vote to re-elect Tom McClintock in the 2018 Congressional election, or if they thought “it is time to give someone else a chance”, fully one-third of the electorate is undecided or unsure. This means those votes are up for grabs in the upcoming campaign. And if they are up for grabs, so is the district!

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