On April 19, 2018, the Palm Springs City Council adopted Resolution No. 24406 declaring its intent to transition to district-based elections in response to a threat of litigation asserting a violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). While the City maintains its position that its election system does not violate the CVRA or any other provision of law, the cost of litigation is prohibitive and the public interest would be better served by transitioning to a district-based electoral system.
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010 and an agreement reached with the proponent, the City will conduct a series of Public Hearings and community engagement forums over the next 6 months to receive community input on the composition of proposed electoral districts for City Council seats. It is of upmost importance that Palm Springs residents and stakeholders participate and provide feedback during the upcoming meetings. It is the City's desire to ensure that the proposed districts reflect prevalent communities of interest and that the citizenry be engaged in this urgent matter.
Below is more information regarding the transition from at-large to district-based elections. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact Anthony Mejia, City Clerk, at (760) 323-8206 or email@example.com.
How Can I Provide Input?
The Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) requires adherence to each of the following criteria: 1) each district shall contain a nearly equal population, 2) each district shall be drawn in a manner that complies with the Federal Voting Rights Act, which, among other things, prohibits districts that dilute minority voting rights, and 3) each district shall not be drawn with race as the predominant factor.
In addition, the CVRA prescribe specific criteria to be considered during the drafting of proposed district maps. This criteria includes the following:1) topography, 2) geography, 3) contiguous and compact territories, and 4) Community of interest of the Council district..
The City needs to know what communities of interest the residents would like to be considered. For instance, are there specific social, cultural, ethnic, or economic interests? Should school attendance areas, single-family and multi-family housing unit areas, income levels, or areas around parks or other neighborhood landmarks be considered? The City needs to hear from you!
The community is invited to attend the upcoming Public Hearings/Community Engagement Forums. These meetings will be an opportunity to provide input and listen to what other members of the community are suggesting as communities of interest. However, if you are unable to attend a scheduled Public Hearing, you are welcome to provide input via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your comments will be collected by the City Clerk's Office and shared with the City Council and the City's demographer, Doug Johnson of National Demographics Corporation, at the upcoming Public Hearings.
Statement of Principles
On May 16, 2018, the City Council adopted a Statement of Principles to guide the process of transitioning to district elections:
- Maximize the goals of the CVRA, including civil rights, equality, and inclusion.
- Prioritize the creation of majority/minority districts.
- To the extent practical, keep organized neighborhoods intact.
- Maintain the principle that the best interest of the City as a whole remains the first responsibility of all elected officials.
- Evaluate our current structure of government and demographics, compare with and learn from other comparable cities and recommend the structure of government that best achieves the goals of the CVRA and the long-term needs of our city.
- Encourage and work through communication platforms to obtain participation from as many residents and stakeholders as possible in the process.