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.
Because history has seen public agencies redraw district lines to influence elections, favor a particular party or suppress a group’s voting power, or gerrymandering, all district lines must be reviewed to meet strict requirements for population equality and voting rights protections. With the California Voting Rights Act, more than 500 jurisdictions in California must redistrict in 2021-2022.
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 or by submitting comments to [EMAIL].
- 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)
- 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.
- Undivided neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (Socio-economic geographic areas that should be kept together for purposes of its effective and fair representation)
- Easily identifiable boundaries
- Compact (Do 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 Districting Principles
- Respect voters’ choices / continuity in office
- Future population growth
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 boundary lines from other jurisdictions, such as school districts, community college districts, and water districts.
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].
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.
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.
- Click here to see the calendar of community workshops and public hearings at which you can speak about the process or a specific map.
- Click here for information on drawing and submitting maps.
At the hearings and community 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 the districts
- Share your opinions of the draft maps
- Talk to your neighbors and local organizations
These are standard categories included in the Census. Not all of the categories are relevant for creating district maps. Acronyms include:
- 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
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.
Yes, you may submit more than one map. We suggest if you have more than three maps, you select your top 2-3 to submit, but the number is unlimited.
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.
Online publications and guides to redistricting: