City Council to Transition to District-Based Elections
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.
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 and Hughes in Malibu, California. The letter asserted that the City's at-large election system diluted 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 asserted that the City's at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
Mr. Shenkman's letter threatened litigation if the City declined to voluntarily convert to district-based elections for Council Members.
Public Hearing Schedule
The process to change the current election system included a series of public hearings, at which time the public was invited to provide input regarding the composition of the districts.
The maps for Council districts were drawn by a professional demographer with extensive experience in the CVRA and in drafting Council districts. Before drawing a draft map or maps of the proposed boundaries of the districts, the City held a series of public hearings at which time the public was invited to provide input regarding the composition of the districts.
Proposed Schedule for Transition
The proposed schedule for the transition from at-large elections to district-based elections for the City Council required four public hearings between May 11, 2017 and August 3, 2017.
During the transition to district-based elections, all residents within the City were encouraged to participate in these hearings.
Following the adoption of the ordinance approving district-based elections, the three Council offices up for reelection in November 2018 were elected from districts. In November 2020 the remaining two Council offices will be elected from districts.