Council Meetings: Location - Council Chamber, 421 Main Street, Chico. (links to documents will be provided as documents become available)
11/12/19
City Council Meeting: Resolution of Intent - District Based Elections
Video
11/19/19

City Council Public Hearing #1: Staff Report, Receive Community Input

Power Point Presentation

Video
12/4/19
Community Event at Grace Community Church at 1:00 p.m.  
12/10/19

City Council Public Hearing #2: Receive Community Input to Develop Draft maps

Hearing Notices in English - Espanol - Hmong

Staff Report

1/7/20
City Council Public Hearing #3: Draft Maps and Sequencing
1/21/20
City Council Public Hearing #4: Approval of Districts, Maps, and Sequencing
2/4/20
City Council Public Hearing #5: Ordinance First Reading
2/11/20
City Council Public Hearing #6: Ordinance Final Reading

 

Background

On October 2, 2019, the City of Chico received a demand letter from a Sacramento based attorney firm, Rexroad Law, representing an unnamed prospective plaintiff and demanding the City change its current at large based voting process to a district-based voting process. On October 16, 2019, the City received a second demand letter from a Malibu based firm, Shenkman & Hughes, PC, representing the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. The letters allege the City was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). The fact that the City has not intentionally discriminated is of no relevance when considering the CVRA.

 

In response to the demand letter and the fact that all cities to date who have litigated similar demand letters have been unsuccessful, the City Council decided to begin the process of moving to district based elections. Consideration was given to litigating the issue, however, in light of the unlikelihood of prevailing in a lawsuit as experienced by other jurisdictions, and the exposure to substantial legal fees which could range in the millions of dollars, the City Council directed staff to begin the process. In order to comply with the letters and minimize exposure, the City began the process in November of 2019. There are legal protections capping legal fees if the City adheres to certain statutory timelines. Although the City has chosen to move to district-based elections, the City has discretion on how the district maps are drawn. There will be multiple opportunities for community input prior to the maps being finalized.

 

On November 12, 2019, the City Council adopted a Resolution of Intent to transition to district-based elections and to begin the public hearing process. There will be two public hearings, one at the November 19, 2019 City Council meeting and the second at the December 10, 2019 City Council meeting to establish the communities of interest that will guide the district map development process. The City Council will hold three additional public hearings on January 7, 2020, February 4, 2020, and February 11, 2020 to review and choose district maps, and introduce an ordinance establishing district-based elections.

 

Comments may be submitted by email to districtelections@chicoca.gov or mailed to City Clerk - District Elections, P.O. Box 3420, Chico, CA 95927 or hand delivered to the City Clerk at the Fred Davis Municipal Center (City Hall), 411 Main Street, 3 Floor, Chico, CA.

 

Public Hearing #2 - Gather Public Input to Develop Draft Maps
On December 10, 2019, the City Council will hold a second public hearing to receive additional input on communities of interest and establish priorities for redistricting criteria. Residents are encouraged to attend to help identify key communities in order to keep them whole when the district boundaries are drawn. Comments received from the public will be considered by the City Council when providing direction to the demographer, who will help develop the first set of draft maps for Public Hearing #3.

 

Public Hearing #1 - Communities of Interest
On November 19, 2019, the City Council will hold the first of two public hearings to discuss communities of interest that will guide the formation of City Council Districts in the City of Chico. The public hearing will provide an opportunity for the community to participate as the City Council determines how the district maps will be drawn in Chico. The City Council will discuss general guidelines for developing draft boundaries. Examples of guidelines include: school district boundaries, planning for growth to minimize future revisions, and beginning with seven districts due to the City's Charter language.

 

Public Information Meeting - November 12, 2019
In order to receive public input on district based elections and prepare the community for further discussion on this issue, the City held its first public meeting to consider adopting a Resolution of Intent. During this meeting, Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jared provided an overview of the District Based Election formation process, the timeline for implementation, and the legal requirements surrounding this issue.

 

Important Documents to Help the Public Participate in the District Formation Process
Chico Baseline Maps - A series of descriptive maps that describe the City of Chico. These maps include: Baselines Geography, Census Geography, Population by Census Block, Race/Ethnicity Dot Density, Slices, Precincts, Land Use, Zoning, Lighting and Landscaping Zones, Home Owner Associations, Subdivisions, and Parcels.
Census Data for City of Chico - Data on the total population in Chico according to the 2010 census. This data includes a breakdown of the Racial/Ethnic categories.
Communities of Interest FAQs & Submission Packet - Allow the community to create sample maps for the City Council to consider.  The four page document consists of the following items:

1. List of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding communities of interest

2. Form for community members to complete to express their priorities for communities of interest

3. A Sample Map that can be used to draft potential district for the City Council to consider

4. Instructions for a digital map that can be completed on line for the City Council to consider.

Google Interactive Map of City of Chico - link to a Google Map that can be used to understand more demographic information about a particular area within the City of Chico.
Neighborhood Areas Map - In approximately 2010, City staff prepared a map delineating various neighborhood areas in Chico to support a City neighborhood planning effort. While never officially adopted by the City Council, this map may be useful to foster discussion of how neighborhoods and other areas of the City can be incorporated into the districting plan discussions on December 4 and December 10.

 

California Voting Rights Act - Demand Letters
The City received two demand letters to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. The first was from Rexroad Law and the second was from Shenkman & Hughes, PC.