Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 18-1059   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 12/11/2018
Title: Approval of Community Engagement and Outreach Plan Regarding City Council By-District Elections and the California Voting Rights Act, Award a Contract Amendment to PlaceWorks, Inc. and Approve Budget Modification No. 12
Attachments: 1. Draft Community Engagement and Outreach Plan, 2. Project Schedule, 3. Draft Contract Amendment with PlaceWorks, Inc., 4. Presentation to Council 12-11-2018
Related files: 19-0361, 19-0362
REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT
Title
Approval of Community Engagement and Outreach Plan Regarding City Council By-District Elections and the California Voting Rights Act, Award a Contract Amendment to PlaceWorks, Inc. and Approve Budget Modification No. 12

Report
BACKGROUND
On September 5, 2018, the City Council held a public hearing regarding changing from the City's current at-large with numbered seats system for electing City Council members to a district-based form of elections (RTC No. 18-0776). Council directed staff to scope a public outreach and education plan for receiving public input on transitioning to district-based elections, with the goal of placing a measure on the November 2020 ballot for voters to decide whether to amend the City Charter to change from at-large with numbered seats to district-based elections. Following that direction, staff hired a public outreach consultant, PlaceWorks Inc., to assist the City in developing Attachment 1, the community education and outreach plan ("outreach plan").

While the plan was being developed, on October 9, 2018, the City received a certified letter from attorney Laura Ho of the law firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, alleging that the City's current electoral system violates the California Voting Rights Act ("CVRA") because it "dilutes the voting power of Asian American voters." On November 20, 2018, the City Council adopted a resolution of intent to change to district-based elections pursuant to Elections Code section 10010, which provides a 90-day "safe harbor" period during which the City cannot be sued. In adopting that resolution, the Council restated its prior direction to move forward with a change to district-based elections, and its commitment to do so with public outreach and engagement prior to making a final determination about the timing and substance of a ballot measure to amend the city council election provisions in the City Charter.

This RTC provides an overview of key elements of ...

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