Frequently Asked Questions on Redistricting
What was the result of Redistricting for the City of Elk Grove in 2022?
Following the public hearing of Item 8.2 heard on April 13, 2022, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2022-077 adopting legal descriptions and map of City Council Member Residency Districts.
What is redistricting and why is it needed?
Every 10 years, a new U.S. Census is conducted, and the population counts are then used for redistricting. City Council Member representative districts must be relatively equal in total population using the new Census counts. The redistricting process is governed by the U.S. Constitution, federal law, and California law. For a general law city such as the City of Elk Grove, the applicable state law is California Elections Code section 21600.
With by district elections and a directly elected mayor, the City of Elk Grove is divided into four districts, and the goal of redistricting was to create a final map with four districts that are relatively equal in total population using the new Census counts. All district lines must meet strict requirements for population equality and voting rights protections, as well as respect neighborhoods and local communities of interest to the extent practicable. The next redistricting effort will occur in 2031.
Why does districting matter to me?
Districting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for the purposes of electing a City Council Member. City staff will seek input on what the residents identify as communities of interest, and where the community sees boundaries for City Council Member representative districts. There is always the opportunity to share with the City how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community, which can be considered in the next redistricting effort.
How could the public get involved?
City staff hosted workshops (chronicled on the project history page) and held public hearings to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. The dates of those hearings and workshops were posted on the Timeline and Upcoming Milestones page and then archived on the project history page. The public was able to utilize online resources to submit ideas for communities of interest and draw and submit maps.
When were the workshops held?
Link via teleconference to talk about redistricting and learn how to use online tools to submit maps and ideas for communities of interest and district map plans, and use your personal electronic device to access online drawing tools. The teleconference environment will run in tandem with in-person meetings (both outdoor and indoor events) creating a “teleworkshop” environment of online participants as well as in-person attendees.
Walk-Up Outdoor Events
Walk-up at the outdoor locations (weather permitting) to engage with staff in the open-air environments to talk about redistricting and learn how to use online tools to submit maps and ideas for communities of interest and district map plans, and use your personal electronic device to access online drawing tools. A teleconference environment will run in tandem with the in-person, outdoor meetings creating a "teleworkshop" environment of online participants as well as in-person attendees.
In-Person hybrid Workshop
Walk-in to the indoor locations listed to engage with staff in spacious, indoor environments to talk about redistricting and learn how to use online tools to submit maps and ideas for communities of interest and district map plans, and use your personal electronic device to access online drawing tools. A teleconference environment will run in tandem with the in-person, indoor meetings creating a "teleworkshop" environment of online participants as well as in-person attendees.
When will the new representative district map be used?
The new City Council Member representative district map will be in effect for the November 2022 election. The deadline for adoption of revised districting maps (April 17, 2022) allows time for the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters to adjust precinct boundaries before the candidate filing opportunity (mid-July 2022) for the November 2022 General Election. City Council Member seats for Districts 2 and 4 will be up for election during the November 2022 General Election.
Who creates the maps and how can the public participate in the process?
The City of Elk Grove has contracted with a professional demographer, National Demographics Corporation, to draft and revise maps for consideration by the public and the City Council. Revisions of these draft maps will be based on feedback received by the City Council and from the community during the public hearings and workshops. Members of the public will be able to provide input about communities of interest, district boundaries, draft maps, as well as possible revisions of maps. The redistricting process will be transparent, and interested participants in the community will have the opportunity to suggest initial maps and map revisions.
What are “Communities of Interest”?
California legislation (for the state legislature, cities, and counties) requires that communities of interest be considered when drawing maps, and when possible. A community of interest is a geographical area (such as a neighborhood) that would benefit from being in the same district because of shared interests, views, or characteristics. Downtown areas, historic districts, and housing subdivisions are a few examples of areas that could be communities of interest (there are many more).
Sometimes, populations with similar demographic characteristics are considered communities of interest. These characteristics can include the population’s race/ethnic composition, the language spoken at home, the area’s median income (and other socioeconomic characteristics), and the type of housing (for example, those in a particular housing development or retirement community).
Has the pandemic affected the redistricting process?
Because of the COVID pandemic, the Census Bureau was about six (6) months behind schedule in releasing census data, and neighboring jurisdictions had requirements to meet earlier final map deadlines (these efforts prioritized availability of resources in the way of professional firm support and community attention). This means that the City of Elk Grove had a reduced timeline in 2021-22 to redistrict compared to processes conducted in the past. As a result, timelines were condensed.
The City of Elk Grove provided virtual meetings for outreach in addition to “hybrid” meetings, in which some people attend in-person while others participate virtually. The manner in which City Council and community meetings take place is subject to change.
What data are used when drawing maps?
Maps for election district boundaries will be based on the total population counts from 2020 Census data, and data that comply with federal and state laws, as adjusted by the California Statewide Database (SWDB), which assigned prison inmates to their pre-incarceration home addresses. The state legislature, county boards of supervisors, and city councils must use these adjusted numbers for redistricting.
When drafting maps for consideration, the demographers also use estimates of the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP, citizens 18+, by race/ethnicity) from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, (ACS) to check for Federal Voting Rights Act compliance. Estimates from the ACS survey are also used to help identify communities of interest.
What criteria must be followed when drawing district lines?
Federal law requires that districts have about the same number of people in them, and adhere to the Voting Rights Act by not diluting the vote of protected classes.
State law requires that districts be drawn using the following criteria in the given order of priority:
Districts should be geographically contiguous (each district should be one piece minimizing separations);
Districts should respect the integrity of local neighborhoods or communities of interest in a manner that minimizes their division;
District boundaries should be easily identifiable and understandable by following natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.);
Districts should be geographically compact in a manner that nearby areas of population are not bypassed in favor of more distant populations.
The City of Elk Grove worked with professional demographers, National Demographics Corporation, to draft and revise maps for consideration by the public and the City Council. Proposed “revised maps” ensured appropriate population balance and incorporate feedback received by the City Council and the community. Members of the public were able to provide input about boundaries, as well as possible revisions of maps.
How will City staff notify the public about districting?
City staff reached out to local media to publicize the districting process. City staff made good faith efforts to notify various community groups about this process. Public hearings and workshops were offered in applicable languages upon request.
City staff notified the public about districting hearings and workshops, posted maps online before adoption, and created a dedicated web page for all relevant information about the districting process. Interested participants were encouraged to continue checking this website for more information and resources.
How can I submit a map?
The City of Elk Grove offered online tools where maps could be drawn and submitted for either proposed district maps and/or maps of communities of interest. These tools assisted with generating district map plans, and this resource also provides an area to access printable copies of the jurisdictional boundaries, so hand drawn maps can also be submitted (either delivered to the Office of the City Clerk at 8401 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA, 95758, or you can photograph your drawing and email it direct to City Clerk Jason Lindgren.
Do I have to submit a completed map?
No. You can draw boundaries for just one district in your part of the City, or any other part.
Can I submit more than one map?
Yes! It is encouraged that submitters use the provided online mapping programs to gauge that the districts being submitted meet legal requirements (equivalent population).
What happens to the drafted maps?
Once submitted, maps are considered public records. City staff posted all legally-compliant submitted maps on the Draft Maps page.
Where can I learn more about this process?
Who will choose the map?
The City Council chooses a final map and adopt it by resolution. This was competed on April 13, 2022 with the adoption of Resolution No. 2022-077 .
When will the process begin and end?
An overview of the process was presented to the City Council and members of the public in open session on January 12 and January 26, 2022. Community outreach continued from January and into February to identify communities of interest and provide the community the tools to submit district map drafts. By the end of February, draft maps were reviewed for legal compliance and presented to the City Council and members of the public in open session public hearings held in March 2022. The City Council adopted a Resolution No. 2022-077 of a final district map (and a map was required to be adopted by April 17, 2022). Members of the public were encouraged to provide comments about the draft map(s) and/or indicate other ways they suggest district boundaries be drawn.
How long will the new representative district boundaries be in place?
with a final map adopted, it will be in place and effective until the next redistricting process. By law, election district boundaries must be evaluated after each decennial census. The 2030 U.S. Census redistricting population counts are expected to be released by approximately April 1, 2031. The district boundaries will need to be adjusted so that the 2030 population is distributed evenly in each of the districts. The next election for the City of Elk Grove after the 2030 U.S. Census will be the 2032 General Election.
May redistricting maps respect incumbency so that there is only one council member in each election district?
Avoidance of head-to-head contests between incumbents is permitted, but only after criteria prescribed by federal and state law are met. Boundaries that take incumbency into account must be reasonable and meet legal requirements.
What is the deadline for the City Council to adopt a final district map?
The City Council will ultimately adopt a resolution establishing revised district boundaries before April 17, 2022, the deadline established by law. After adoption of a new map, it will be sent to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters. The County Registrars of Voters will then adjust precinct boundaries before the filing deadline for the November 2022 General Election. The new map will be used for the first time for the November 2022 General Election, when the seats for Council Districts 2 and 4 will be up for election (in addition to the seat for mayor which is elected at-large).