FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On behalf of the City of Dana Point
City of Dana Point Adopts Five-District, By-District Election System
Dana Point, CA (May 16, 2018) – The City of Dana Point has announced adoption of a five-district, by district method of election system and sequence for City Council elections. The 4 to 1 vote held during its May 15 City Council meeting changes the city’s current at-large election process to a by-district method of election.
A by-district election process means voters within a designated City Council electoral district elect one City Council member who must also reside in and be a registered voter of that district. The map adopted by the City Council, Tan VI, can be found on the City’s website: http://www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=26209
Districts 1, 2 and 3 will be up for election on November 6, 2018. Districts 4 and 5 will be up for election on November 3, 2020. The filing period for City Council candidates is July 16, 2018 through August 10, 2018. The City Clerk will issue a nomination paper and candidate packet during the filing period. Candidates must be registered voters in the City of Dana Point and reside in District 1, 2 or 3.
“While this has been a challenging process, we have worked extensively with our community to analyze and identify the best possible solution for the City while meeting the legal demands imposed on us by the state Legislature,” said Dana Point Mayor Richard A. Viczorek. “It has been our objective from the beginning to work toward keeping neighborhoods and communities of interest together.”
The change to by-district elections was required to ensure that the City did not violate the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) which prohibits the use of an at-large election in a political subdivision if it would impair the ability of a protected class, as defined, to elect candidates of its choice or otherwise influence the outcome of an election. As of February 2, 2018 Dana Point received a certified letter from
Attorney Russell D. Myrick of the law firm RDM Legal Group, threatening to sue the City for alleged violations of CVRA.
In working to comply with the CVRA and the Federal Voting Rights Act, the City retained the services of a demographer, National Demographics Corporation, to prepare multiple variations of maps with five voting districts and four districts with an at-large mayoral office. Five public hearings and two public forums were held to receive public input on the districting options. The map options were also available online for review and input.
Many factors were considered in the Council’s final map decision, but population equality is required and was accomplished with the City’s adoption of Dana Point’s district maps. Other factors considered in the final five-district decision included: communities of interest, compactness, contiguity, visible (natural and man-made) boundaries, and future growth plans.
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