Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Assembly Bill 849 (2019) requires cities and counties to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings and/or workshops and doing public outreach, including to non- English-speaking communities.
What is redistricting?
Every ten years, districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. In Menlo Park, the City Council is responsible for drawing city council districts. Redistricting is done using U.S. Census data, which is delayed for 2020, but expected to be released around September 30, 2021. For the City of Menlo Park, the redistricting process must be completed by April 17, 2022.
How can I get involved?
Our redistricting process will be include hearings or workshops to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. Those hearings or workshops will be held on dates to be determined (check back). The district lines will be drawn by an independent redistricting commission.
We encourage residents to submit their draft city council districts and “Communities of Interest” (COI) using the mapping tool and to take part in the Menlo Park Redistricting Survey.
You can also submit public comments, including suggested draft maps, by emailing City Clerk Judi Herren.
Why does redistricting matter to me?
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a councilmember.
Our redistricting process, which involves members of the public, provides opportunities for input in selecting the next district map for our city council districts. You have the opportunity to share how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.
You can contact City Clerk Judi Herren to find out more about how the process works.
What do the existing city council districts look like?
You can view the City’s current city council districts and look up your city council representative using our interactive map.
What criteria will be used when drawing district lines?
To the extent practicable, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria:
- geographically contiguous districts (each city council district should share a common border with the next),
- the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
- geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
- easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.), and
- lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
How will our City Council notify the public about redistricting?
Our City Council will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings or workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance. Our City will notify the public about redistricting hearings or workshops, post maps online before adoption and maintain this dedicated webpage for all relevant information about the redistricting process.
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Independent Redistricting Commission
The redistricting process will be administered by an independent redistricting commission. The commission will have seven commissioners and two alternates. Alternates may fully participate in commission deliberations but may not vote and may not be counted toward the establishment of a quorum. Alternates are subject to the same qualifications, restrictions and standards of conduct as all other commissioners. The Independent Redistricting Commission is responsible for setting Menlo Park’s electoral boundaries for City Council districts following the 2020 census.