Every 10 years, cities with district electoral systems must use new census data to redraw district boundaries to reflect changing local populations.
This process, called redistribution, ensures that each district has nearly equal populations.
Under the Fair Maps Act which came into effect on January 1, 2020, four public hearings must be held to ensure that community members have an opportunity to give their opinion on the drawing of the maps.
At least one hearing must be held before the cards are drawn, and at least two hearings must be held after the cards are drawn.
Chino Hills City Council held its first public hearing on Tuesday, and Chino City Council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, July 6 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber.
The Chino Valley Unified School District, which does not have district elections, will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 17 to carve out five districts.
In January, the school district was threatened with legal action by a Malibu law firm alleging that its general electoral system was a violation of California’s voting rights law because it diluted the minority vote.
In 2016, the cities of Chino and Chino Hills were also threatened with lawsuits for the same reason and hired the National Demographics Corporation to draw the boundaries for the regional elections.
Both cities now hold district elections in which voters choose the candidate who lives in their region, or “district”.
Ahead of the June 17 school board meeting, the district released three maps showing potential scenarios.
Residents can view maps and provide feedback by visiting chino.k12.ca.us and clicking on “region trustee election system”.
The tab provides access to a page created by the district with links to timelines, key dates, maps, frequently asked questions and a system story by district.
Some city council members were not impressed by the sketch maps drawn by the National Demographics Corporation.
Mayor Brian Johsz said the new approximation of the maps was confusing and the use of census tracts to understand districts seemed odd.
“We are at the very beginning of the redistribution of the districts and I think that these maps were useless within the framework of this first meeting”, declared the mayor. “The municipal council, with the contribution of the public, has a long way to go in this process of redistribution. “
City Councilor Art Bennett said his district has been redesigned to go to the east side of District 4, which is Mayor Johsz’s district that encompasses Fairfield Ranch.
“I have never been on the east side of Highway 71,” Councilor Bennett said. “My limit is Pipeline Avenue, so I don’t know why they chose to move it there. “
City Councilor Bennett noted that census figures will not be available until September 30.
“Progress cannot start until we have the final numbers,” he said. “We don’t have the data to start making concise adjustments because we don’t know where the population actually is. “
City Councilor Cynthia Moran, who is in District 5, suggested that her existing northern boundary be moved to Woodview Road instead of its current boundary on Valle Vista Avenue. Mr Bennett said it doesn’t make sense that her current district is on the north side of Valle Vista while Ms Moran’s is on the south side.
Shalice Tilton of the National Demographics Corporation said the pandemic prevented the release of census figures in April.
Local data will not be released until August, she said.
“We will get numbers on August 16 and the official numbers will be released on September 30,” Tilton said.
The process requires that no racial gerrymandering takes place, that socio-economic geographic areas are held together, and that borders are easily identifiable.
Nor should the process favor or discriminate against a political party.
Other traditional principles of redistribution include respecting voters’ choices in the elected officials they appoint, future population growth, and preserving the core of existing constituencies.
City Councilor Bennett said the maps should be drawn based on the existing districts and changes can be made from there.
“We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he said.
Ms Tilton said Chino Hills is expected to have a population of around 81,300, which represents growth of just over 7,000 since the 2010 census.
As a result, she suggested that each of the five districts should contain 16,265 people.
She noted that the Latino population is concentrated in Los Serranos and Butterfield Ranch, and that the Asian population is concentrated in the northern part of the city.
There are no significant concentrations of African Americans or Native Americans, Ms. Tilton said.
She said public testimony is an integral part of the public hearing process.
Residents are needed to identify neighborhoods and communities of interest.
The community will be invited to give their opinion on how to define their neighborhoods, for example using geographic boundaries.
Examples of physical features defining a neighborhood boundary include natural boundary lines such as major roads, highways, canals or hills, areas around parks and schools, or other neighborhood landmarks.
In the absence of public testimony, planning records and similar documents can provide a definition, she said.
Chino Hills resident Jim Gallagher said the last time the city carved up the neighborhood, the National Demographics Corporation was helpful in sharing tools with residents and provided advice as needed.
He hoped that the same assistance would be available this time around.
Chino Hills resident Luis Esparza said the draft maps representing Districts 3 and 4 (Mr Bennett and Mayor Johsz) do not make a cohesive neighborhood.
He said conflict of interest issues should be avoided this time around, noting that council members were housed to have a neighborhood on their own, and that Mr Johsz, before becoming a council member, drew a map creating a neighborhood that would house his residence, finally adopted by the municipal council.
Mr Gallagher and Mr Esparza also submitted maps to accommodate their residences which were not adopted because consultation officials said they did not meet state or federal criteria or redistribution principles.
Chino Hills City Council will hold its next public hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13.
Mapping tools and a web page will be available in summer.
The final card must be approved and submitted to the County Registrar of Electors by April 17, 2022.
Ward 1, represented by Councilor Ray Marquez, includes Carbon Canyon west of the fire station, to the Orange County line, heads north to include Tres Hermanos, Hidden Trails and Rolling Ridge schools , to the Pomona border, including Costco, and west to Diamond Bar. It moves south under Carbon Canyon to include Vellano.
Ward 2, represented by Councilor Peter Rogers, encompasses the area north of Carbon Canyon Road from the Fire Hall and Western Hills Golf Course to Canon Lane, north of Chino Avenue and 71 Freeway.
Ward 3, represented by Councilor Bennett, is generally south of Eucalyptus Avenue to the portion of Valle Vista Avenue (north side) east of Peyton Drive, includes all of Village Oaks and bordered by Carbon Canyon Road at the west.
Ward 4, represented by Mayor Johsz, includes Los Serranos, Fairfield Ranch and the areas surrounding Chino Hills High and Wickman Elementary.
Ward 5, represented by Councilor Moran, is south of Soquel Canyon Parkway with the exception of Pebble Beach Lane and Augusta Drive, and west of Butterfield Ranch Road to Pine Avenue where it includes neighborhoods to the east of Butterfield Ranch Road.