District Based Elections

City Council to Consider District Based Elections

Background

On May 11, 2017, the Jurupa Valley City Council took action to begin the process to transition from the City’s current “at-large” election system for the election of Council Members to a “district-based” election system.

The City of Jurupa Valley currently elects its City Council Members through an “at-large” election system in which each Councilmember can reside anywhere in the City and is elected by the voters of the entire City to provide citywide representation.  The at-large election system was approved by the voters at the March 2011 incorporation election.

A district-based election system is one in which the city is physically divided into separate districts, each with one Councilmember who resides in the district and is chosen by the electors residing in that particular district.

Letter Challenging City’s Election System

On March 29, 2017, the City received a letter from Kevin Shenkman, an attorney of the law firm of Shenkman & Hughes in Malibu, California.  The letter asserts that the City’s at-large election system dilutes the ability of minority residents – particularly Latinos (a “protected class”) – to elect candidates of their choice or otherwise influence the outcome of Jurupa Valley’s Council elections.  As a result, the letter asserts that the City’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).  Mr. Shenkman’s letter threatens litigation if the City declines to voluntarily convert to district-based elections for Council Members.

Public Hearing Schedule

The process to change the current election system includes a series of public hearings at which the public is invited to provide input regarding the composition of the districts.
 
The public hearings will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Jurupa Valley City Hall, City Council Chamber, 8930 Limonite Avenue, Jurupa Valley, CA.

The maps for Council districts will be drawn by a professional demographer with extensive experience in the CVRA and drafting Council districts. Before drawing a draft map or maps of the proposed boundaries of the districts, the City shall hold at least two public hearings over a period of no more than thirty (30) days, at which the public is invited to provide input regarding the composition of the districts.  After the draft maps are drawn, the City shall publish at least one draft map.  The City shall also publish the potential sequence of elections, if the City Council Members will be elected at different times to provide for staggered terms of office.  Then, the City shall hold at least two additional public hearings over a period of no more than 45 days, at which the public is invited to provide input regarding the content of the draft maps and the proposed sequence of elections.

The proposed schedule for the transition from at-large elections to district-based elections for City Council will require four public hearings between May 11, 2017 and the proposed date of August 3, 2017 for the adoption of the ordinance establishing district-based elections:

May 11, 2017:  Public Hearing No. 1

May 18, 2017:  Public Hearing No. 2

May 19 - June 28, 2017:  Draft Map(s) drawn; public outreach by staff

June 29, 2017:  Publish Draft maps and sequencing

July 6, 2017:  Public Hearing No. 3

July 20, 2017:  Public Hearing No. 4

August 3, 2017:  Adoption of proposed ordinance to elect Council Members by Districts

Public comments on the transition and the proposed district maps are very important and all residents within the City are encouraged to participate in these hearings.

If the City Council adopts the ordinance approving district-based elections, the three Council offices up for reelection in November 2018 would be elected from districts.  In November 2020 the remaining two Council offices would be elected from districts.

City Council Actions/Documents

May 11, 2017 Agenda Report

May 11, 2017 Minutes

May 18, 2017 Agenda Report

May 18, 2017 Minutes

July 6, 2017 Agenda Report

July 6, 2017 Minutes

July 20, 2017 Agenda Report

July 20, 2017 Minutes

August 3, 2017 Agenda Report

August 3, 2017 Minutes

Draft Maps

For further information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (951) 332-6464 or by email at:  vwasko@jurupavalley.org

Additional Information

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