City Council Considers District-Based Electoral System

Community feedback encouraged at scheduled public hearings

SouthPasadenan.com | Multiple public hearings will take place over the course of several months

On July 19, 2017, the South Pasadena City Council adopted a resolution of intent to transition from at-large elections to district-based elections for members of the City Council. The City will conduct a series of Public Hearings to explain the districting process, criteria used in developing electoral districts, and to hear from the public about their ideas on the composition of said districts.

It is anticipated that the districting process will conclude by mid-October 2017. The first district-based election would occur in November 2018, when two City Council seats will be up for election, followed by 2020 for the remainder of the five-member City Council.

For transparency and to encourage community participation, the City is maintaining a new webpage at www.southpasadenaca.gov/districts.

The Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) and CVRA prescribe specific criteria to be considered during the drafting of proposed district maps. This criteria includes the following:

  1. Nearly equally populations
  2. Contiguous and compact territories
  3. Continuity in office
  4. Communities of interest

The city needs to know what communities of interest the residents would like to be considered. For instance are there specific 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 listed below. These hearings 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 (cityclerk@southpasadenaca.gov). Your comments will be collected by the City Clerk’s Division and shared with the City Council at the upcoming Public Hearings.

Schedule of Public Hearings

Wednesday, August 16, 2017; 7:30 p.m.

Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr. Council Chamber

1424 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA

A City Council Public Hearing to review the districting process and to hear from residents about their ideas for potential “communities of interest” and the composition of electoral districts.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017; 7:30 p.m.

Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr. Council Chamber

1424 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA

A City Council Public Hearing to review the districting process, to hear from residents about their ideas for potential “communities of interest,” and to receive City Council direction on the criteria to be considered for mapping of districts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017; 7:30 p.m.

Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr. Council Chamber

1424 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA

A City Council Public Hearing to seek resident input on the content of the draft district map(s) and sequence of elections.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017; 7:30 p.m.

Amedee O. “Dick” Richards, Jr. Council Chamber

1424 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA

A City Council Public Hearing to select a preferred district map and to introduce an ordinance to transition to a district-based electoral system.

Department: Management Services Department

Contact Person: Anthony J. Mejia, Chief City Clerk

Telephone Number: (626) 403-7230

Email: amejia@southpasadenaca.gov

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1 COMMENT

  1. While I appreciate that our City will move to districting, I don’t know how they can possibly draw these lines effectively in such a short amount of time. Without demographic studies and analyses in place, how can they determine the relevancy of any “community of interest”? From where I stand, those lines are distinguished more by economics than ethnicity or age. I would like to see equal representation of renters to counter the power of the commercial and residential building owners.

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