District Elections

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Transition from At-Large to District-Based Elections

On April 19, 2018, the Palm Springs City Council adopted Resolution No. 24406 declaring its intent to transition to district-based elections in response to a threat of litigation asserting a violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). While the City maintains its position that its election system does not violate the CVRA or any other provision of law, the cost of litigation is prohibitive and the public interest would be better served by transitioning to a district-based electoral system. 

Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010 and an agreement reached with the proponent, the City will conduct a series of Public Hearings and community study sessions over the next 6 months to receive community input on the composition of proposed electoral districts for City Council seats. It is of upmost importance that Palm Springs residents and stakeholders participate and provide feedback during the upcoming meetings. It is the City's desire to ensure that the proposed districts reflect prevalent communities of interest and that the citizenry be engaged in this urgent matter.

Statement of Principles

On May 16, 2018, the City Council adopted a Statement of Principles to guide the process of transitioning to district elections:

Goals:

  • Maximize the goals of the CVRA, including civil rights, equality, and inclusion.
  • Prioritize the creation of majority/minority districts.
  • To the extent practical, keep organized neighborhoods intact.
  • Maintain the principle that the best interest of the City as a whole remains the first responsibility of all elected officials.

Process:

  • Evaluate our current structure of government and demographics, compare with and learn from other comparable cities and recommend the structure of government that best achieves the goals of the CVRA and the long-term needs of our city.
  • Encourage and work through communication platforms to obtain participation from as many residents and stakeholders as possible in the process.

Schedule of Public Hearings and Community Events?People

Wednesday, June 20, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - Public Hearing #1

A City Council Public Hearing to review the districting process and to inform residents and stakeholders how to participate in the districting process and how to develop their own proposed district maps for the City Council's consideration.

Mid-June thru Early July, 2018; Community Study Sessions

The City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee on the Voting Rights Act and staff will facilitate three (3) community study sessions throughout Palm Springs to inform residents and stakeholders how to participate in the districting process and how to develop their own proposed district maps for the City Council's consideration. Final dates will be posted once available.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - Public Hearing #2

A City Council Public Hearing to review the districting process, to hear from residents about their ideas for potential “communities of interest,” and to receive City Council direction on the criteria to be considered for mapping of districts.

Late July thru August 24, 2018; District Map Development

The community is invited to utilize a variety of tools to aid them in the drawing proposed districts. Residents and stakeholders can draw their own proposed district or draw districts for the entire City. Once completed, all proposals will be forwarded to the CIty's demographer who will generate the population and other demographic details for the proposed maps. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - Public Hearing #3

A City Council Public Hearing to seek resident input on the content of the draft district map(s), proposed governance structures, and sequence of elections. It is anticipated that the City Council will provide direction on a preferred governance structure and allow for the community additional time to refine the proposed district maps based on the City Council's feedback.

September 2018; Community Study Sessions

The City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee on the Voting Rights Act and staff will facilitate five (5) community study sessions throughout Palm Springs to inform residents and stakeholders about City Council direction related to the City's governance structure and how to develop or refine the proposed district maps. Final dates will be posted once available.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - Public Hearing #4

A City Council Public Hearing to seek resident input on the content of the draft district map(s), governance structure, and sequence of elections. It is anticipated that the City Council will narrow the proposed district maps to a preferred 2-3 maps for further consideration and refinement.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - Public Hearing #5

A City Council Public Hearing to select a preferred district map and to introduce an ordinance to transition to a district-based electoral system.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018; 6:00 p.m. - City Council Meeting

A City Council Public Hearing to adopt an ordinance to transition to a district-based electoral system.