At the city council meeting this Wednesday, the Elk Grove City Council could decide on one of three maps to use in the 2020 election. The city is preparing to change how city council members are elected. Currently, the system is “from district”, which means a council member must reside in their district but are elected by the whole city. The new model will be “by-district.” In a “by-district” model, each council member must reside in their district and only residents in that district can vote.
The meeting starts at 6 pm at the council chambers located at 8400 Laguna Palms Way. October 23 City Council Agenda
The change came about after the city received a letter that they are violating the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) by having from-district elections. The letter came from a Southern California attorney that has sued other cities in similar circumstances and won.
In an effort to avoid a costly lawsuit, the city council reluctantly decided to pursue going to by-district elections. The city held a series of public hearings to receive input from residents. Part of the process is determining the council districts.
There are currently four council districts, with the mayor elected by the whole city. At the meeting on Wednesday, the council could choose one of three district maps or decide to look at other options. It is expected the council will choose one of the three. Deciding to look at other options would force another public hearing and with the threat of a lawsuit looming, that is likely not an option. The maps will be redrawn for 2022 after the 2020 census.
At the last public hearing on October 9, public speakers were overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the existing districts (option 1 below) for the 2020 election. In 2020 Districts 1 & 3 will be up for election and in 2022, Districts 2 & 4 will be chosen.