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NEWLY UPDATED April 4, 2018: Draft Maps for District Elections Available for Public Review and Comment

Change in Council Election Cycle Also Being Considered

Post Date:03/07/2018 1:10 PM

NOTE: THIS WAS UPDATED ON APRIL 4, 2018

A set of six draft maps showing the proposed City Council districts are available for public review.

Draft Map #1 - Green Map

Draft Map #2 - Purple Map

Draft Map #3 - Tan Map

Draft Map #4 - Map A

Draft Map #5 - Map B

Draft Map #6 - Map C

There's also an interactive map that makes it easier to focus on details.

Members of the public may submit alternate versions of the district boundaries. So far, the city has received the following : Submittal 1 - Submittal 2- Submittal 3- Submittal 4- Submittal 5 - Submittal 6

Note: The city's professional demographer has reviewed the Submittals and has determined that the maps contained in Submittals 2, 3, 4 and 5 do not comply with the legal requirement that the population difference between the largest and smallest districts be no more than ten percent. Submittal 1 does comply with the legal requirements, and is the basis for draft Map A, which has been added to the interactive map. Submittal 5 did not comply with the legal requirements; it was later refined by the demographer and is the basis for draft Map B. Submittal 6 did comply with legal requirements and it formed the basis for Map C.

 

Additional maps from the public must be submitted no later than  April 4 to be reviewed by the City Council at its April 11 regular meeting.

Comments on the draft maps can be sent via letter to the Santee City Clerk’s Office, 10601 Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071 or by email to Deputy City Clerk Sara Real, sreal@cityofsanteeca.gov

The public also may comment in person at the April 11 or April 25 City Council meeting, when the Council is scheduled to vote on the maps.

Council meetings start  at 7 p.m. (City Hall is at 10601 Magnolia Avenue.)

In addition to setting the boundaries of the proposed council districts, the City Council has the option to change the rotation of council seats.

Under the current rotation, three council seats are up for election in 2018 and one in 2020. Left unchanged, three of the new council election districts must hold elections in November 2018. Once a set of district maps is chosen, the council (based in part on public input) will decide which districts will hold those 2018 elections. The fourth district would then hold a 2020 election.

As part of its move to by-district elections, the city is also considering a change in the council election cycle so that two council seats would stand for election every two years. Under this alternative, two districts would hold elections in November of even-numbered years.

To accommodate this change, one of the three districts up for election in November 2018 would be designated as a one-time, two-year term. The designated two-year seat would then hold an election for a regular four-year Council term starting in 2020, and every four years thereafter.

 CITY CONSULTANT GUIDANCE ON ISSUE OF 'GERRYMANDERING"

“Racial gerrymandering” is a legal term clearly defined as a violation of the Voting Rights Act in a long line of Federal cases largely driven by Thornburg v Gingles, which struck down a redistricting plan that hindered the ability of black voters to participate equally in the political process and to elect candidates of their choice. In addition, the Shaw v Reno cases (there were two of them from North Carolina) made clear that a district map may be unlawful if race becomes the “predominate” factor in the drawing of districts.

Until recently, there has never been a ruling against a state on partisan gerrymandering (as opposed to racial gerrymandering). But current partisan gerrymandering cases in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere may change that. Those cases are about partisan elected officials cherry-picking the voters they want or do not want in their districts in order to ensure their own re-elections (or to ensure the defeat of opponents from the other party).  

There is no law nor any Court rulings saying that there is anything illegal about avoiding the pairing of current elected officials. In fact, the US Supreme Court in Karcher v Daggett specifically cited “avoiding contests between incumbent Representatives” as an acceptable and fully expected consideration in redistricting.

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