The hearings will be led by the demographer’s consulting team and are designed to be as accessible and transparent as possible. Generally, the hearings will have 3 phases. The consultant will begin with a presentation to give an overview of the process and the criteria. After that, there will be an opportunity for the public to ask the consultants clarifying questions, to view the map of the city, and talk to the consultants and other residents to prepare input. Finally, the hearings will resume to allow for formal public input to be presented by attendees. The consultants will be able to show the area that the input focuses on using mapping software and a projector. The consultants will use the public input in constructing the draft maps.
The first workshop (September 25, 2021) will provide training on the criteria and process for redistricting. At the second meeting (October 19, 2021), the Council will solicit public input on their communities of interest, and the redistricting consulting team will receive direction from the City Council. The third hearing (October 28, 2021) will focus on the drawing of the draft map with live and in-person public input. On November 1, 2021, the official draft map will be posted onto the website for feedback and comments. The fourth and fifth hearings (November 16 and December 7, 2021) are to receive feedback on the draft map. The finalized map will be voted on and adopted at the fifth hearing (December 7, 2021).
How are the districts drawn?
Generally, the following criteria are used to redraw the council districts (California Elections Code. Section 21601):
- Each district should contain nearly the same number of people;
- Boundaries shall be drawn in a manner that complies with the United States Constitution and the Federal Voting Rights Act;
- Council districts shall consist of contiguous territory in as compact form as practicable;
- Districts shall follow visible features and boundaries when possible;
- Council districts shall respect communities of interest as much as practicable. Communities of Interest generally refers to a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of fair and effective representation;
- The demographer will disregard the location of incumbents and candidates, as well as the interests of political parties.
In summary, this means the following:
- We will use a mapping program to construct districts after public input has been received.
- Census data will be used to find out how many people live in each part of the city and ensure that each district contains roughly the same number of people.
- Census geography will be used to ensure that the districts are compact and contiguous
- We will collect and utilize Community of Interest data from the residents of Murrieta to use in the building of districts.
- We will not use any address information for current council members or potential candidates or use political party affiliation or information in the drawing of districts.