Where can I learn more about districting and redistricting? There are a number of online publications and guides to redistricting: MALDEF and the NAACP Brennan Center The League of Women Voters How have other cities responded to the threat of litigation under the California Voting Rights Acts?Nearly every other city has changed its election method, voluntarily or by court order. Agencies that have attempted to defend their at-large election systems have incurred significant legal costs. Here are a few examples of the legal costs that other cities paid defending their at-large systems: Palmdale $4.7 million, Modesto $3 million, Anaheim $1.1 million, Santa Barbara $600,000, and West Covina $220,000. Why haven’t cities prevailed in challenging these allegations? The threshold to establish liability under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) is considered low. The Federal Voting Rights Act requires four conditions to be met to prove a city is not in compliance. The CVRA only has two condition requirements. How will creating voting districts affect me? If approved, every four years registered voters in Campbell will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate for City Council that lives in their district. Registered voters will not be able to vote for Councilmember candidates from a district in which they do not reside. What’s the difference between “at large” elections and “district” elections? We currently have an at-large election system, where voters of the entire District elect all members of the City Council. “By-district” divide the jurisdiction into geographic districts. Voters in each district choose their representative, who must also live in that district.
What are by-district elections? A by-district or by-district election process means voters within a designated electoral district elect one representative, who must also reside in and be a registered voter of that district.
What criteria are used to create election districts? Many factors may be considered, but population equality is the most important. Other factors include: • Communities of interest
• Be compact
• Be contiguous
• Have visible (natural and man-made) boundaries
• Include respect for past voter selections
• Plan for future growth
What are communities of interest?
A community of interest is a neighborhood or community that would benefit from being in the same district because of shared interest, view or characteristics. Possible community features or boundary definitions include:
• School attendance areas
• Natural neighborhood dividing lines such as roads, hills or highways
• Areas around parks and other landmarks
• City borders
• Common issues, neighborhood activities or legislative/election concerns
• Shared demographic characteristics, such as:
o Similar levels of income, education or linguistic isolation;
o Ancestry (not race or ethnicity)
o Languages spoken at home
o Percentage of immigrants
o Single-family and multifamily housing units
If election districts are created, who decides the boundaries?
A professional demographer is hired by the District to create proposed district boundaries, with suggestions and feedback from residents. Residents will be able to provide input on boundaries and suggested criteria for creating boundaries. The districting process will be transparent and accessible to all residents. Ultimately, the City Council adopts an ordinance establishing district boundaries
What do the acronyms and categories mean on the demographic sheets?
These are standard categories included in the Census. Not all of the categories are relevant for creating district maps. Acronyms include:
VAP: Voting age population
CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population
CVRA: California Voting Rights Act
NDC: National Demographics Corporation (the firm hired by the city to create the maps)
Do I have to submit a complete map?
No. You can draw boundaries for just the district where you’d like your neighborhood to be or any part of the city.
Can I submit more than one map?
What happens to the maps?
Once submitted, maps are considered public records. The city will post all legally-compliant submitted maps on its website.
Contact the city’s demographers at National Demographics Corporation: 818-254-1221 (phone and fax) or Campbell@NDCresearch.com.