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Report ID: 21-029   
Type: Regular - External Affairs
Meeting Body: Board of Directors - Regular Meeting
Meeting Date: 9/22/2021 Final action: 9/22/2021
Recommended Action: Consider receiving a report on the process and timeline for the 2021 Ward Redistricting Project; and the adoption of Resolution No. 21-033 establishing procedures for adjusting the boundaries of the wards of the Alameda - Contra Costa Transit District.
Attachments: 1. STAFF REPORT, 2. Att.1.Resolution 21-033, 3. Att.2. 2021 Redistricting Work Plan, 4. Att.3. 2021 Redistricting Presentation, 5. Master Minute Order

TO:                     AC Transit Board of Directors                                          

FROM:                                             Linda A. Nemeroff, District Secretary

SUBJECT:                     2021 Ward Redistricting Project                     

 

ACTION ITEM


RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

 

Title

Consider receiving a report on the process and timeline for the 2021 Ward Redistricting Project; and the adoption of Resolution No. 21-033 establishing procedures for adjusting the boundaries of the wards of the Alameda - Contra Costa Transit District.

Body

 

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE:

 

The redistricting process is mandated by law and, therefore, has no strategic importance.

 

BUDGETARY/FISCAL IMPACT:

 

Notwithstanding staff time, the cost is estimated at $25,000 which includes the purchase of the necessary software, legal advice and consultation, translation and interpreter services, print ads, and publication of the required public hearing notice. In-house resources will be used to carry out the technical aspect and public outreach elements of the redistricting project. 

 

BACKGROUND/RATIONALE:

 

Redistricting is the process of adjusting ward boundaries in order to equalize populations following the completion of the federal decennial census. The process is governed by federal and state laws, including the Federal Voting Rights Act; Transit District Law; and Elections Code Section 22000.  The redistricting process aims to establish boundaries that recognize the importance of providing members of racial ethnic groups the same opportunity to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice as other members of the electorate. The Board should note that AB 849 (The Fair and Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions Act) signed into law on October 8, 2019, is only applicable to county and city governments and is not applicable to special districts; however, AC Transit’s redistricting effort will aim to incorporate the public outreach requirements of that legislation which are substantially similar to AC Transit’s 2011 outreach efforts.

 

The Board should also be aware of Senate Bill 594 (Glazer).  This will require special districts to pass a board resolution adopting their updated boundary maps by April 17, 2022, if their regular election is on the same day as the statewide November 2022 general election. SB 594 is intended to address the unique circumstances of the pandemic-delayed 2020 Census and includes a January 1, 2023 sunset date.  Staff intends to have new boundary maps approved by the Board before April 1, 2022, well in advance of any changes in the mandated deadline.

 

Redistricting Criteria

 

In addition to federal and state requirements of equal population and opportunity for racial and ethnic groups to participate the political process, staff is recommending the adoption of Resolution No. 21-033 setting forth additional criteria that shall be given consideration for the 2021 Redistricting Project (to the extent practicable):

(a)                     Community of interest of the population of the ward;

(b)                     Maintaining the compactness, cohesiveness, and contiguity of the ward;

(c)                     Maintaining integrity of the ward by keeping cities, and census-designated places (unincorporated areas) intact; 

(d)                     Topography by drawing lines that are easily understood using the artificial and natural physical features of an area; and

(e)                     Geography.

 

Defining Redistricting Criteria

 

The redistricting principles listed below are common to state and local redistricting processes:

 

“Community of Interest” is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single ward for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Some examples of relevant social and economic characteristics include, but are not limited to:

 

                     Income Levels

                     Educational Backgrounds

                     Housing Patterns

                     Cultural and Language Characteristics

                     Employment and Economic Patterns

                     Health and Environmental Conditions

 

“Compactness” refers to the shape of the ward and how tightly it is drawn.

 

                                                                                                         Illustration 2. Compactness