What are district-based elections?2022-07-08T19:01:47+00:00

Under a district-based election system, the City would be divided into new equally populated districts. A candidate must reside within an election district and is elected only by voters residing within that same election district.

What election system does the City currently use?2023-05-31T16:02:11+00:00

Currently, the Irvine City Council consists of the Mayor and four Councilmembers who are elected at-large. This means any eligible voter who lives in the City can run for office, and every voter may vote for all City Councilmember seats, regardless of where they live in the City. Councilmembers each serve a four-year term and the Mayor serves a two-year term. The City of Irvine has a two-term limit for elected officials.

Why is Irvine moving to districts?2023-05-31T16:02:36+00:00

In recent years, cities throughout California have been legally challenged to shift from at-large elections to district-based elections, with the 2002 California Voting Rights Act as the basis for the legal challenge. In light of this, and as part of the City’s commitment to ensuring fair elections, the City Council voted at its meeting on January 10 to pursue districting and the expansion of the council from four to six, with a mayor elected at-large. In March 2024, voters will have the chance to vote on whether the City Council expands and moves to district-based elections.

Why does districting matter to me?2023-04-05T20:44:31+00:00

Districting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing Councilmembers. The City is seeking input in selecting a district map for electing Councilmembers. You have an opportunity to share how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community either during the public hearings or by submitting comments to districting@cityofirvine.org

What criteria will be used to determine the district lines?2023-04-05T20:42:36+00:00
  1. Federal Laws
    • Equal Population (based on total population of residents as determined by the most recent Federal decennial Census and adjusted by the State to reassign incarcerated persons to the last known place of residence)
    • Federal Voting Rights Act
    • No Racial Gerrymandering
  2. California Criteria for Cities (to the extent practicable and in the following order of priority)
    • Geographically contiguous (areas that meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous.  Areas that are separated by water and not connected by a bridge, tunnel, or ferry service are not contiguous.
    • Undivided neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (Socio-economic geographic areas that should be kept together for purposes of its effective and fair representation)
    • Easily identifiable boundaries
    • Compact (Do not bypass one group of people to get to a more distant group of people)
    • Prohibited: “Shall not favor or discriminate against a political party.”
  3. Other Traditional Districting Principles
    • Respect voters’ choices / continuity in office
    • Future population growth
What are Communities of Interest?2021-10-14T01:07:15+00:00

A community of interest is a “contiguous population that shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.”

Below are useful excerpts from the Local Government Redistricting Toolkit by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (2020).

Communities of interest are the overlapping sets of neighborhoods, networks, and groups that share interests, views, cultures, histories, languages, and values and whose boundaries can be identified on a map.

The following elements help define communities of interest:

  • shared interests in schools, housing, community safety, transit, health conditions, land use, environmental conditions, and/or other issues;
  • common social and civic networks, including churches, mosques, temples, homeowner associations, and community centers, and shared use of community spaces, like parks and shopping centers;
  • racial and ethnic compositions, cultural identities, and households that predominantly speak a language other than English;
  • similar socio-economic status, including but not limited to income, home-ownership, and education levels;
  • shared political boundary lines from other jurisdictions, such as school districts, community college districts, and water districts.
How will our City Council notify the public about districting?2023-03-01T19:35:32+00:00

The City Council will reach out to local media to publicize the districting process. Also, we will make a good-faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the districting process. Our public hearings and workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance to districting@cityofirvine.org.

The City Council will notify the public about districting hearings and workshops, post maps online before adoption, and maintain this dedicated web page for all relevant information about the districting process.

How can I get involved?2023-03-01T19:36:24+00:00

Share your specific thoughts, draw a map, or attend an upcoming workshop to get involved!

  • Submit written testimony about your community, the process, or a specific map to districting@cityofirvine.org.
  • Click here to see the calendar of workshops and public hearings at which you can speak about the process or a specific map.
  • Click here for information on drawing and submitting maps.
What do the acronyms and categories mean on the demographic sheets?2022-04-29T23:32:34+00:00

These are standard categories included in the Census. Not all of the categories are relevant for creating district maps. Acronyms include:

  • NH: Non-Hispanic
  • VAP: Voting age population
  • CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population
  • CVRA: California Voting Rights Act
  • FAIR MAPS Act: Fair And Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions
  • NDC: National Demographics Corporation (the firm hired to produce the maps and provide demographic data)
Do I have to submit a completed map?2022-04-29T23:35:47+00:00

No, you do not need to submit a fully completed map. You can draw boundaries for only your neighborhood or only a portion of the city. It is helpful if you submit written commentary with your map describing why the particular neighborhood or area should be kept together in a single district.

Can I submit more than one map?2022-04-29T23:35:26+00:00

Yes, you may submit more than one map. Please draw as many maps as you like. We suggest you submit only your top 2-3 preferred maps to assist the City Council in focusing on the map that best represents your community; however, there is no limit.

What happens to the drafted maps?2023-02-23T03:07:40+00:00

After you submit your map, the demographic consultants will generate the population and other demographic details for your proposed map. Maps can be viewed on the Draft Maps page or on the Interactive Review Map.

Once submitted, maps are considered public records.

Where can I learn more about districting?2022-04-29T23:28:53+00:00
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