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  Agenda Item   3.    
City Council Special Meeting
Meeting Date: 02/23/2022  
FROM: Bill Gallardo

Public Hearing to Receive Input from the Community Regarding the Proposed Transition to By-District City Council Elections; Selection of a District Map and Election Sequence; and Introduction of Ordinance No. 1225, Establishing a By-District System for City Council Elections
It is recommended that the City Council do the following in connection with the proposed transition to a by-district election system:
  1. Conduct a public hearing to receive public input regarding selection of a district map and the sequence of district elections.
  2. Approve a motion to select a district map.
  3. Approve a motion to determine the sequence of district elections.
  4. Approve a motion to introduce Ordinance No. 1225, adding Chapter 2.32 (City Council Districts) to the Brea City Code and making a CEQA exemption determination, by title only and waive further reading.  
The City of Brea currently uses an “at-large” election system, in which all voters in the City have the opportunity to vote for candidates for all five (5) seats on the City Council. City Council candidates may reside anywhere in the City, and they each provide citywide representation. A by-district election system is one in which the City is physically divided into voting districts, each with one (1) council member who resides in the district and is chosen by the electors residing in that particular district.
On May 6, 2019, the City of Brea received a notice letter from Shenkman & Hughes, P.C. (“S&H”) alleging that the City's at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”). The City and S&H subsequently executed an Extension Agreement, in which S&H agreed to refrain from filing a CVRA action as long as the City took specified steps to transition to by-district elections. In accordance with the Extension Agreement, on June 20, 2019, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2019-049, declaring its intent to transition from at-large elections to by-district elections for City Council.
Pursuant to Resolution No. 2019-049, the City Council intends to consider adoption of an ordinance to transition to by-district elections in accordance with applicable laws, including Government Code Section 34886 and Elections Code Section 10010. Resolution No. 2019-049 directed staff to work with the City Clerk, City Attorney, a demographer, and other appropriate consultants as needed, to provide a detailed analysis of the City’s current demographics and any other information or data necessary to prepare a draft map that divides the City into voting districts in a manner consistent with the intent and purpose of the CVRA and the Federal Voting Rights Act (“FVRA”). After conducting a Request for Proposals, on July 20, 2021, the City Council approved a Professional Services Agreement with National Demographics Corporation (“NDC”) for Electoral Districting Services. NDC has provided the City with results from the 2020 United States Census, as well as other City demographics, which provide critical information needed to create voting districts. To transition to by-district elections, the City is required to conduct four (4) public hearings before the final map adoption, which would be due to the Orange County Registrar of Voters by April 17, 2022:
  • At least two (2) public hearings before maps are drawn, within a 30-day period
  • At least two (2) public hearings after maps are drawn, within a 45-day period
  • Ordinance introduction to establish by-district elections and adopt map
  • Ordinance adoption at a regular or adjourned regular meeting
In addition to considering public input received during the public hearings, the City must ensure compliance with the following rank-ordered, state-and federally-mandated criteria in the following order of priority:
Federal Criteria for Cities:
  1. Each council district shall contain a nearly equal population as required by law; and
  2. Each council district shall be drawn in a manner that complies with the FVRA.  No council district shall be drawn with race as the predominant factor in violation of the principles established by the United States Supreme Court in Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993), and its progeny.
California Criteria for Cities:
  1. Geographically contiguous
  2. Undivided neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (socio-economic geographic areas that should be kept together)
  3. Easily identifiable boundaries
  4. Compact (do not bypass one group of people to get to a more distant group of people)
Other Traditional Districting Principles:
  1. Respect voters’ choices / continuity in office
  2. Future population growth
Project Timeline Summary
Step Description
Resolution of Intent
June 20, 2019
Council approves resolution of intent to switch to district elections
Informational Session
July 20, 2021
Kick-off meeting following 2020 Census to introduce process and consultant, launch outreach 
Data Release
September 2021
Census Bureau releases official 2020 Census population data in August; California Statewide Database official ‘prisoner-adjusted’ 2020 redistricting data in September
Two Initial Hearings
September 27 & October 27, 2021
Held prior to release of draft maps.
Education and to solicit input on the composition of districts.
Public Workshop
January 12, 2022
Additional session on using the tools and learning about the districting process, with time for questions and discussion.
Release draft maps
January 25, 2022
Maps must be posted at least 7 days prior to 3rd hearing.
Two hearings on draft maps
February 1 & 23, 2022
Two meetings to discuss and revise the draft maps and to discuss the election sequence.
Public Workshop
February 12, 2022
Additional session to view and discuss the draft maps and election sequence.
Map adoption
By April 17, 2022
Map adopted via ordinance at regular meeting or adjourned regular meeting.
Final map must be posted at least 7 days prior to adoption.

Public Hearings #1 & #2
The City Council held pre-draft map public hearings on September 27, 2021 and October 27, 2021 to receive public input regarding the composition of the district maps and any potential communities of interest. At Public Hearing #2, NDC provided paper map kits and demonstrated how to use online mapping tools available for the community to use to indicate how they think the district lines should be drawn. Maps received from members of the public were collected and provided to City Council for consideration at Public Hearing #3.
First District Mapping Workshop
On January 12, 2022, the City and NDC hosted its first District Mapping Workshop, both in person at the Brea Community Center and on Zoom. The purpose of this workshop was to gather additional public feedback on how the districts should look and to provide further education to residents on how to draw and submit their own draft voting district maps using the various mapping tools.
The deadline for members of the public to submit their maps for consideration at Public Hearing #3 was January 21, 2022. This deadline was necessary to comply with state law, which requires that all draft voting district maps are to be posted at least seven (7) days in advance of Council consideration at a public hearing.
Public Hearing #3
Prior to Public Hearing #3, staff received a total of 17 draft voting district maps for Council consideration. Of that total, fourteen (14) maps were received from members of the public and three (3) maps and suggested sequences of elections were prepared by NDC. NDC indicated that three (3) of the fourteen (14) maps from the public  — Map 110, Map 111, and Map 114 — did not meet the legally-mandated criteria, and NDC noted the defect(s) on the respective submissions.
On February 1, 2022, the City Council held Public Hearing #3 and received a report from NDC related to the draft maps and suggested election sequencing.  After receiving public testimony, the City Council selected five (5) focus maps: Map 103, Map 108, Map 115, Map 116 and Map 117.  In addition, Council directed NDC to make specific outlined changes to Map 106 and bring the modified Map 106 back to the next public hearing for deliberation.
During the hearing, staff reported that three (3) draft maps were received from the same member of the public prior to Public Hearing #3, but after the submission deadline. As such, these three (3) draft maps were not permitted to be considered by the Council at Public Hearing #3.  Staff indicated that these three (3) draft maps and the modified Map 106 would be brought back to the next public hearing.
Second District Mapping Workshop
On February 12, the City held its second District Mapping Workshop both in person at the Brea Community Center and on Zoom. This workshop was held on a Saturday to accommodate members of the community who may not have the opportunity to participate during the week. During the workshop, Dr. Justin Levitt from NDC presented an overview of the districting process to date, as well as the focus maps that the City Council is considering. The large focus maps were available for the public to view in detail, and materials were provided for community members to make comments on specific areas of the maps. This workshop also gave community members an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the maps collectively. The public feedback collected at this workshop is provided as an attachment to the staff report.
Public Hearing #4
The map submission deadline for consideration at this Public Hearing was February 14, 2022.  Additional draft maps that were received have been published on the City’s website in accordance with legal requirements in advance of this public hearing.  These maps included the three (3) previously mentioned public maps, which were received after the first map submission deadline: Map 119, Map 120 and Map 121; along with the modified Map 106, which is now referred to as Map 118. No other maps from the public were received.
In addition to outlining the proposed voting districts, each of the maps also identifies NDC’s suggested election sequencing. In accordance with legal requirements, there must be three (3) districts up for election in 2022 and two (2) districts up for election in 2024.
During Public Hearing #4 on February 23, the City Council will receive public testimony and discuss the additional four (4) draft maps, along with the five (5) focus maps selected at the previous public hearing.  After deliberation, the City Council may select a voting district map and election sequence for adoption. Once the map and sequence have been selected, the City Council may consider the introduction of Ordinance No. 1225 to change to a by-district election system, adopt the selected voting district map, and set the election sequence. 
Community Outreach
To engage the community in the districting process, City staff launched a full marketing campaign.  Most recently, staff created and mailed out a districting-specific postcard that was sent to every home in Brea, outlining the project’s timeline and opportunities to get involved. Additionally, large posters on the districting process are currently being displayed at six (6) bus shelters sign holders located throughout the City and four (4) large kiosks in Downtown Brea. Staff has also created a list of nineteen (19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and translated them into Spanish and Korean. Staff continues to maintain updated information on the City’s dedicated districting website,
Community outreach has been conducted via email, print signage at City facilities, social media, the City’s cable channel, water bill inserts, City newsletters, letters to businesses, and announcements at City Council, Commission, and Committee Meetings. Public hearing notices are available in three languages: English, Spanish, and Korean and are published in three (3) local newspapers: The Orange County Register, Excelsior California, and The Korea Daily. The City also established a specific email address for members of the public wishing to submit feedback via email, which is: Additional outreach efforts will continue throughout the districting process. Staff invites the public to spread the message to friends and neighbors to help inform the process.
Next Steps
At this time, staff is recommending the City Council select its preferred map, designate district election sequence, and introduce the Ordinance No. 1225. 
No fiscal impact.
William Gallardo, City Manager
Prepared by: Victoria Popescu, Deputy City Clerk and Melissa Davis, Management Analyst
Concurrence: Lillian Harris-Neal, City Clerk and Terence Boga, City Attorney
Second Publication of Draft Voting District Maps
Focus Maps
Feedback from Second District Mapping Workshop
Draft Ordinance

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