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Redistricting is the regular process of adjusting the lines of voting districts in accordance with population shifts. Every ten years, districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process is important in ensuring that each Councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. Redistricting is done using U.S. Census data, which is normally released around March 31, 2021, but it is anticipated that this data will not be available until September 30, 2021 this year because of delays.
Because history has seen public agencies redraw district lines to influence elections, favor a particular party or suppress a group’s voting power, or gerrymandering, all district lines must be reviewed to meet strict requirements for population equality and voting rights protections. With the California Voting Rights Act, more than 500 jurisdictions in California must redistrict in 2021-2022.
In the City of Napa, the City Council is responsible for approving the final map of new district boundaries. Our redistricting process must be completed by April 17, 2022.
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a Councilmember. The City Council will seek input in selecting the next district map for our Councilmember districts. You have an opportunity to share with the City Council how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.
You can contact the City Clerk at [email protected] to find out more about how the process works.
You can find a map of the existing districts here: City of Napa Council Districts (arcgis.com)
To the extent practicable, in accordance with the California Elections Code, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria:
1. Substantially equal population of residents (+/- 10%) in each district based on census data.
2. Compliance with the Constitutions of the United States and California, and with the Federal Voting Rights Act (“FVRA”). These criteria are satisfied by developing districts that have substantially equal populations, are not designed with discriminatory intent, and are not designed with race as the predominant consideration.
3. Geographically contiguous, to the extent practicable. A district is not contiguous if it includes areas that: (a) meet only at the point of adjoining corners, or (b) are separated by water and not connected by a bridge.
4. Geographic integrity of any local neighborhood or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division, to the extent practicable. A “community of interest” is a population that shares common social or economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.
5. Boundaries should be easily identifiable and understandable by residents. To the extent practicable, districts shall be bounded by natural and artificial barriers, by streets, or by the boundaries of the City.
6. Districts shall be geographically compact in a manner that nearby areas of population are not bypassed in favor of more distant populations, to the extent practicable.
7. Districts must not be adopted for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
The City will conduct a robust public messaging program and implement a community outreach plan that will reach out to local media outlets and members of the public to publicize the redistricting process via social media engagement, Napa News Weekly, press releases, public notices posted at City facilities, advertisements on Napa Valley TV Channel 28, Napa Valley Register newspaper, Napa Valley Unified School District parent newsletter, and the City’s dedicated webpage. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings and community workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance. The City Clerk’s Office will also hold pop-up events at widely attended community events such as the Farmer’s Market in order to help spread the word.
The City will notify the public about redistricting hearings and community workshops, post maps online before adoption, and create a dedicated webpage for all relevant information about the redistricting process. Please continue to check this website for more information and resources.
The City will be holding both Public Hearings at City Council meetings and Community Workshops to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. A schedule outlining these Public Hearings and Community Workshops will be posted in the near future.
You can also get involved by completing a Community of Interest (COI) form. For more information about filling out Community of Interest (COI) forms, please visit our Community of Interest Worksheet webpage.
You can also submit public comments, including suggested draft maps, by emailing: [email protected].
These are standard categories included in the Census. Not all of the categories are relevant for creating district maps. Acronyms include:
No, but you can draw boundaries for just the district where you’d like your neighborhood to be or any part of the City.
Once submitted, maps are considered public records. The City will post all legally-compliant submitted maps on its website.
There are a number of online publications and guides to redistricting. You can start with this one from MALDEF and the NAACP, or this (long) one from the Brennan Center, this one from the League of Women Voters, or this FAQ from the California Independent Redistricting Commission.