What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the regular process of adjusting the lines of voting districts in accordance with population shifts. In California, public agencies and other organizations must redivide (or redraw) the lines of their districts every ten years once the results of the Census are released so that each district is substantially equal in population. This ensures that each elected official represents about the same number of constituents.
All district lines must be reviewed to meet strict requirements for population equality, voting rights protections, and in accordance with the California FAIR MAPS Act. With the California Voting Rights Act, more than 500 jurisdictions in California must redistrict in 2021-2022.
Why does redistricting matter to me?
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing Council Members. The City Council will seek input in selecting the next district map for electing Council Members. You have an opportunity to share with the City Council how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community either during the public hearings, by submitting comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing the COI Worksheet.
What do the existing City Council districts look like?
You can find a map of the City’s current City Council districts here.
What criteria will our City Council use when drawing district lines?
- Federal Laws - Equal Population (based on total population of residents as determined by the most recent Federal decennial Census and adjusted by the State to reassign incarcerated persons to the last known place of residence); Federal Voting Rights Act; No Racial Gerrymandering
- California Criteria for Cities (to the extent practicable and in the following order of priority) - 1) Geographically contiguous (areas that meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous. Areas that are separated by water and not connected by a bridge, tunnel, or ferry service are not contiguous; 2) Undivided neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (socio-economic geographic areas that should be kept together for purposes of its effective and fair representation); 3) Easily identifiable boundaries; 4) Compact (does not bypass one group of people to get to a more distant group of people) Prohibited: Shall not favor or discriminate against a political party.
- Other Traditional Redistricting Principles - Minimize voters shifted to different election years; Respect voters’ choices / continuity in office; Future population growth; Preserving the core of existing districts
What are Communities of Interest?
A community of interest is a “contiguous population that shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.”
Below are useful excerpts from the Local Government Redistricting Toolkit by Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (2020)
Communities of interest are the overlapping sets of neighborhoods, networks, and groups that share interests, views, cultures, histories, languages, and values and whose boundaries can be identified on a map.
The following elements help define communities of interest:
- Shared interests in schools, housing, community safety, transit, health conditions, land use, environmental conditions, and/or other issues
- Common social and civic networks, including churches, mosques, temples, homeowner associations, and community centers, and shared use of community spaces, like parks and shopping centers
- Racial and ethnic compositions, cultural identities, and households that predominantly speak a language other than English
- Similar socio-economic status, including but not limited to income, home-ownership, and education levels
- Shared political boundary lines from other jurisdictions, such as school districts, community college districts, and water districts
How will our City Council notify the public about redistricting?
The City Council will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings and workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance to email@example.com.
The City Council will notify the public about redistricting hearings and workshops, post maps online before adoption, and maintain this dedicated web page for all relevant information about the redistricting process.
How can I get involved?
Share your specific thoughts, draw a map, or attend an upcoming workshop to get involved!
- Submit written testimony about the process or a specific map to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete the COI Worksheet to describe your community of interest.
- Click here to see the calendar of workshops and public hearings at which you can speak about the process or a specific map.
- Watch for more information on drawing and submitting maps.
At the hearings and workshops, we want you to:
- Share your story
- Define your neighborhood or community of interest
- Explain why redistricting is relevant to your community
- Get the tools you need to draw a map of one district or of all five districts
- Share your opinions of the draft maps
- Talk to your neighbors and local organizations
What do the acronyms and categories mean on the demographic sheets?
- NH: Non-Hispanic
- VAP: Voting age population
- CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population
- CVRA: California Voting Rights Act
- FAIR MAPS Act: Fair And Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions
- NDC: National Demographics Corporation (the firm hired to produce the maps and provide demographic data)
Do I have to submit a completed map?
No, you do not need to submit a fully completed map. You can draw boundaries for only your neighborhood or only a portion of the city. It is helpful if you submit written commentary with your map describing why the particular neighborhood or area should be kept together in a single district.
Can I submit more than one map?
Yes, you may submit more than one map. Please draw as many maps as you like. We suggest you submit only your top 2-3 preferred maps to assist the City Council in focusing on the map that best represents your community; however, there is no limit.
What happens to the drafted maps?
After you submit your map, the demographic consultants will generate the population and other demographic details for your proposed map. Maps can be viewed on the Draft Maps page or on the Interactive Review Map.
Once submitted, maps are considered public records.
Where can I learn more about redistricting?