Redistricting is the regular process of adjusting the boundary 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 U.S. Census are released so that each district is substantially equal in population. This ensures that each council member represents about the same number of constituents.
Because history has seen public agencies redraw district boundary lines to influence elections, favor a particular party or suppress a group’s voting power, or gerrymandering, all district boundary lines must be reviewed to meet strict requirements for balanced population and voting rights protections. With the California Voting Rights Act, more than 500 jurisdictions in California must redistrict in 2021-2022.
In the City of Vallejo, the City Council is responsible for approving the drawing of the district boundaries. Our redistricting process must be completed no later than April 17, 2022.
Why does redistricting matter to me?Alex Applegate2021-07-12T23:50:19+00:00
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 our Council Member districts. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What criteria will be used when drawing district boundary lines?Alex Applegate2021-06-14T14:54:01+00:00
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)
“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 do the existing City Council districts look like?Alex Applegate2021-07-12T23:50:27+00:00
The Vallejo City Council voted to transition from an at-large election system to a district-based election system on July 9, 2019, after its at-large system was challenged as being in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. A district-based system definitively cures a CVRA violation.
Combination systems that combine at-large election systems with district-based election systems are considered at-large elections and subject to a CVRA challenge. Additionally, from-district election systems where members reside in districts but are voted upon by the entire jurisdiction are also considered at-large elections and subject to CVRA challenges.
Because the City of Vallejo transitioned to a district-based election system to avoid a costly CVRA lawsuit, reverting to a combination election system or a from-district election system is not a viable option.
What are Communities of Interest?Clare Burgess2021-06-08T20:53:27+00:00
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 the public be notified about redistricting?Alex Applegate2021-06-14T15:04:07+00:00
City staff will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify various community groups about the redistricting process. Public hearings and workshops will be provided in Spanish and Tagolog. For other languages or for ADA special accommodations, please submit a request 72 hours in advance of the hearing or workshop. Requests may be submitted to email@example.com.
The public will be notified about redistricting hearings and workshops, maps will be posted online before adoption, and a dedicated web page has been created for all relevant information about the redistricting process. We encourage the public to continue checking this website for more information and resources.
Hearings and workshops will be held to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. A schedule for 4 confirmed City Council public hearing dates is provided below. Additional workshop dates coming soon!
June 22, 2021, virtual meeting, public hearing will be held at 8:00 pm
July 27, 2021, virtual meeting or in-person meeting, public hearing will be held at 8:00 pm, location to be announced in the future
January 11, 2022, City Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, public hearing will be held at 8:00 pm
February 8 ,2022, City Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, public hearing will be held at 8:00 pm
What do the acronyms and categories mean on the demographic sheets?Alex Applegate2021-06-08T20:42:27+00:00
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?Alex Applegate2021-06-08T20:43:21+00:00
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?Alex Applegate2021-06-08T20:43:51+00:00
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?Alex Applegate2021-06-08T20:45:58+00:00