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    31.    
City Council Regular
Meeting Date: 06/13/2017  
Submitted By: Sylvia Salas-Ruff, Executive Assistant

SUBJECT:
CALIFORNIA VOTING RIGHTS ACT - DISTRICT ELECTIONS
RECOMMENDATION:
Provide direction regarding the proposed district boundary maps consistent with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
BACKGROUND/ANALYSIS:
The City of Chino Hills currently uses an at-large election system in which all voters in the City have the opportunity to vote for candidates for all five seats on the City Council. In August 2016, the City received a letter from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) which stated that MALDEF had received complaints from Latino voters in the City that the use of an "at-large" election system for City Council resulted in Latino vote dilution, and that Latino voters were prevented from electing candidates of their choice.  MALDEF asserted that the City is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 and demanded that the City convert to a district-based election system. 
 
After reviewing the issue and the likelihood for success in a potential litigation, the City Council declared their intent to transition to district-based elections on November 22, 2016. Since that time, the City held a community meeting in January to provide background information and receive input. Following that, the City Council has held Public Hearings in February, March, April and May. At the May 23rd Public Hearing, the City Council narrowed the alternatives from nine to three. The maps currently under consideration are the NDC Draft #4, the Austin Map and the Kreeger Map.
 
Once again, the draft District Maps for the Council’s consideration follow the traditional redistricting principles that:

•Include Communities of Interest
•Are Compact and Contiguous
•Have Visible (Natural and Man-made) Boundaries
•Use Whole Census Blocks
•Respect Voters’ Wishes / and Avoid Pairing Current City Council Members in One District
•Balance the Population between the Districts (Approximately 15,000 Residents)
 
 The City Council closed the Public Hearing on May 23rd. The item is now a Discussion item. Staff is looking for the City Council to select a preferred map and direct staff to return at the June 27th meeting to introduce an Ordinance.
ENVIRONMENTAL (CEQA) REVIEW:
This action is not a project within the meaning of the CEQA Guidelines Section 15278 and is therefore exempt from CEQA as it is an administrative change that will not result in any direct or indirect physical change in the environment. It is therefore exempt from CEQA.
FISCAL IMPACT:
To date the City’s fiscal impact is $31,000 for the services of National Demographics Corporation.  There may be additional expenditures to complete this process.
REVIEWED BY OTHERS:
This item has been reviewed by the City Attorney.
Attachments
NDC Draft #4
NDC 4 Stats
Austin Map
Austin Map Stats
Kreeger Map
Kreeger Map Stats

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