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City Begins Outreach and Seeks Input on City Council Districts

Post Date:August 29, 2019 3:41 pm

The City of Davis announced today that it has started outreach efforts for the city governance conversion to district elections scheduled for November 2020. 

The City currently elects its Council Members through an at-large election system. This means that each Council Member can reside anywhere in the City and is elected by the registered voters of the entire City. 

In a district election system, the City is divided into separate geographic districts. Each Council Member is elected by the registered voters of the particular district in which the Council Member resides. Voters do not vote for candidates outside their district. 

Over the last several years, cities, school districts, and community college districts throughout the State have been changing from at-large to by-district elections to comply with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and/or to avoid litigation. 

As part of the district election process, the City is asking for community input on individuals’ “Communities of Interest.”  A Community of Interest (COI) is any cohesive group of people that live in a geographically definable area and should be considered as a potential voting bloc in current or future elections.

 

There are some Communities of Interest that are considered “protected classes” in that they have rights through state or federal civil rights or voting rights laws. Some examples of protected classes in districting would be ethnic and racial minorities, such as a concentration of Latinx, Asian or African American people. Protected classes can be described through public input, and there are federal databases that must be used wherever applicable to define these areas and make sure that they are not being harmed by the district boundaries.

There are other Communities of Interest that can also be considered in districting. Examples are senior citizens, a group of college students living in a densely populated area near a campus, people who live in the downtown area or a specific neighborhood, or even people who share concerns, such as parents with young children, bicycle enthusiasts, a topic interest group, etc.

Residents may complete the online Community of Interest form on the city website www.cityofdavis.org/districts, or pick up and drop off a hard copy to City Hall, City Manager’s Office, 23 Russell Blvd. Comments can be emailed to districts@cityofdavis.org.

The schedule for outreach meetings is as follows:

Tuesday, September 3

Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Actions: Receive general input, identify communities of interest, and consider district criteria.

Tuesday, September 10

Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Actions: Receive general input, identify communities of interest, and consider district criteria.

Saturday, September 21

Community Workshops at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A Street. Drop by any time between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. There will be presentations on the process at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8

Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Initial draft of district maps will be reviewed.

Tuesday, October 22

Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Council to select district maps.

Tuesday, November 5

Public Hearing at City Council meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Boulevard. Action: Council to adopt ordinance establishing district elections.

The City encourages residents to attend a public meeting and offer comments.

 

 

 

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For More Information Contact:
Barbara Archer
barcher@cityofdavis.org
Desk: 530-747-5884
Mobile: 530-400-3418

 


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