At the February 27, 2018, City Council meeting, the fourth public hearing was held on proposed district boundary maps and the draft ordinance to establish five Council voting districts. The City Council voted to introduce Ordinance 18-2 (PDF) and waive further reading, which established the Cobalt Plan map (PDF) as the map setting five Council District boundaries that will apply in the November 2018 District Elections. The adoption of the ordinance occurred on March 6, 2018. The Council also directed staff to propose a work plan to explore the establishment of an independent commission for the next re-districting effort which will occur after the 2020 U.S. Census Data has been received by the City, before the 2022 election.
Until now, five City Council members were elected at-large, meaning that all registered voters had the opportunity to vote for all five council positions. Under the new system, City Council members will be elected by district. One Council member, who lives in a district, will be elected by people (registered voters) who also live in the same district. This process has allowed the City to become compliant with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.
- On January 2nd, the City Council voted to transition from at-large to district elections.
- On January 16th, the first public hearing was held to receive community input on what criteria to use to establish district boundaries. The following criteria must be met in creating election districts:
- Each Council district must contain a nearly equal population. The 2010 Census numbers will be used to determine the population number for each district.
- Council district borders must be drawn in a manner that complies with the state and federal constitutions, state law, and the federal Voting Rights Act.
- In establishing district boundaries, the City Council may give consideration to the following factors: topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, compactness of territory, and "community of interests" such as neighborhoods, school boundaries, and common interests.
- The City Council may also establish other criteria, as long as they do not conflict with federal or state law.
- At the January 23rd public hearing, the Council directed the City's independent demographer to create 4 alternative maps illustrating five potential Council voting districts (PDF) in Concord that were published on January 30, 2018.
- On February 6th, the City Council held the third public hearing to receive input on the four draft maps. At that meeting, testimony was received on the four maps from 28 residents through Community Town Hall, 10 emails, and 24 speakers. After public comment, Council made changes to the Blue Plan to create the Cobalt Map, which achieved the following:
- Divided the Concord Naval Weapons Station into three districts
- Moved the Downtown BART station and area to the east of it to District 2 to keep the downtown together
- Renumbered District 1 to become District 2 and vice versa
- Resulted in a lower population deviation of 4.3%. They directed staff to keep the precincts whole to allow a 2018 District Election.
These maps were created at the direction of City Council, indicating to staff to be sure each district contains nearly equal population, and keeping communities of interest, such as neighborhoods, undivided by a district boundary, to the extent feasible, while also respecting visible natural and man-made geographical and topographical features, including parks, and major transportation corridors such as Clayton Road, Willow Pass and Treat. Although not required by state law, the Council also requested that the City's districts follow existing precinct boundaries, where feasible, to facilitate the County's ability to conduct elections in 2018.
A map of the distributions of Concord's population (PDF) was also created to allow for the public to submit different versions of the election districts.
If you would like staff to make a presentation on district elections to your neighborhood association or community group, contact the Planning Division, 925-671-3152.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Monument Crisis Center
1990 Market Street
Concord, CA 94519
Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee Meeting
February 13, 2018
2280 Diamond Boulevard
Concord, CA 94519