On April 4, 2016, the City received a letter asserting the City’s "at-large" electoral system, violates the California Voting Rights Act. This letter threatened litigation if the City declined to adopt a "by-district" ordinance for use in the November 2016 elections and thereafter. At the April 27, 2016, the City Council meeting, Council discussed the City’s electoral system. City Council concluded that the public interest would be better served by transitioning to "by-district" elections in time for the November 2016 City Council elections.
It is important to note, the demand letter was not accompanied by any evidence to support the claim of a violation, however; the threat of a costly lawsuit outweighs the risk of deferring a "by-district" electoral system.
- Demand Letter from Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (PDF)
- Transition Timeline (PDF)
- Public Hearing Notice - Published May 1, 2016
- Press Release
- List of Other Cities being Challenged/Sued (PDF)
- California Voting Rights Act
- Senate Bill (SB) 493
- Government Code Section 34870-34886
- The California Voting Rights Act and Districting - The Demographer’s Perspective (PDF)
- AB 2220 (Cooper) Elections in cities: by or from district- Notice of Support (PDF)
- AB 278 (Hernandez) – Municipal Elections (as amended February 18, 2016) - Opposed (PDF)
- Final Adopted Ordinance and Map - Effective June 8, 2016