Local governments look to revise procedures in face of growing coronavirus concerns

Applicants sought to serve on Redwood City 11-member redistricting committee

in Community/PoliticalClimate

Redwood City residents are being sought to serve on the 11-member Advisory Redistricting Committee (ARC), which is tasked with helping to determine district boundaries for City Council elections following the 2020 Census.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 6. After they’re reviewed for eligibility, the City Council will hold interviews and then make appointments at its meeting June 28. The committee will meet about 15 times throughout the process, which must be completed no later than April 17, 2022. Visit here to apply.

Members must be residents of incorporated Redwood City, eligible electors throughout the duration of their term, and the City Council expressed a desire for the committee to reflect the diversity in the community, and that its members be fair-minded and committed to ensuring fair representation, city officials said.

Committee members can expect to work with one another to learn about “learn about the legal requirements and best practices for redistricting, to engage the public in providing testimony on communities of interest, and to create draft maps to be considered by the City Council,” officials said.

“An ideal candidate may have knowledge or experience in, though not limited to, the following areas: data and analysis, GIS and mapping, Redwood City’s diverse communities, working collaboratively to achieve a common goal, and community engagement strategies,” the city said.

Those not permitted to serve on the committee are elected officials of the local jurisdiction, a family member of an elected official of the local jurisdiction, an elected official’s staff member, or paid campaign staff of an elected official of the local jurisdiction, the city said.

In March 2019, Redwood City became the latest California jurisdiction to transition from an at-large to district based system for electing City Council members under threat of legal action. While at-large elections allow voters of the entire city to elect the seven councilmembers, a district-based system has voters voting solely for the councilmember who resides in and aims to represent their particular district of the city.

A District Elections map was subsequently adopted comprising of seven districts, and the first district election was held Nov. 3, 2020, with four district seats on the ballot. Now, the city is legally mandated to undergo a redistricting process based upon new 2020 U.S. Census demographic data. In April, the City Council voted to form ARC.