Senate District 17 contains Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties in their entirety, as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara Counties. The cities include Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Gilroy, San Luis Obispo, Morgan Hill, Seaside, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Monterey, and several more smaller cities. A small portion of San Jose was included in this district to achieve population equality. The district is one of two Senate districts containing part of Monterey County and was drawn in part to comply with Voting Rights Act Section 5 requirements. The district links the western portion of Monterey County with areas to the south in a primarily coastal district. Strongly shared interests within the district include regional agricultural economies, coastal and open space preservation, and environmental protection. The Monterey Bay coastline is fully contained within the district. Additionally the southern portion of the district includes a major portion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which extends to Cambria in San Luis Obispo County. Similar to the adjacent Section 5 district, it was not able to be fully nested due to the need to meet the Voting Rights Act requirements.