On October 31, 2017, the City received a letter from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). The letter asserted that the City’s at-large system for the election of city council members resulted in Latino vote dilution and prevented Latino voters from electing candidates of their choice in violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) (Election Code Sections 14025 to 14032).
The letter also threatened litigation unless the City voluntarily converted to a "by-district" election system. MALDEF has served similar letters and subsequently filed lawsuits against cities for alleged CVRA violations.
The City Council, on December 12, 2017, adopted Resolution of Intention Number 2017-223 to initiate procedures for establishing and implementing by-district elections for City Council Members.
Beginning in 2018, elections for Council Members are by district, instead of at-large (also known as citywide) elections in which all voters have the opportunity to make a decision on each council seat. This means that all voters now vote for the one council member representing the district where the voters live once every four years.
During the redistricting process (and for future redistricting), the City encourages public assistance and input in shaping the community's future. A frequently asked questions section is available to answer basic questions about redistricting and how to encourage public participation.