Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 19-0675   
Type: Report to Council Status: Public Hearing/General Business
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 9/10/2019
Title: Public Hearing Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010(a)(2) to Receive Public Comment Regarding the Content of the Draft City Council Districting Maps Published on September 3, 2019, and the Proposed Sequence of Elections
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 931-19, 2. Qualified Maps, 3. Plan Submitter Comments (See Corrected Attachment 3, posted 20190909), 4. Proposed Election Sequencing, 5. Not Qualified Maps, 6. 19-0675 Corrected Attachment 3 - Exhibits A and B added (posted 20190909), 7. Presentation to Council 20190910
Related files: 19-0677, 19-1168, 19-0676, 19-0678, 19-0679
REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT
Title
Public Hearing Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010(a)(2) to Receive Public Comment Regarding the Content of the Draft City Council Districting Maps Published on September 3, 2019, and the Proposed Sequence of Elections

Report
BACKGROUND
On September 5, 2018, the City Council held a public hearing regarding changing 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.

In October 2018, the City received a certified letter from attorney Laura Ho of the law firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, alleging on behalf of potential plaintiff Samir Kalra that the City's current electoral system violates the California Voting Rights Act ("CVRA") because it "dilutes the voting power of Asian American voters." Three additional potential plaintiffs, Sunnyvale residents Galen Kim Davis, Kathy Higuchi, and Bowman Ching, joined the CVRA challenge in January 2019.

Council adopted a resolution of intent to change to district-based elections pursuant to Elections Code section 10010 in November 2018, which provided a 90-day "safe harbor" period during which the City could not 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.

In December 2018, Council adopted a community outreach plan and directed staff to return in February 2019 with an update on initial outreach. Based on the results of the initial public outreach as well as legal issues and risks, Council adopted an amended Resolution of Intent, Resolution No. 931- 19 (Attachment 1), on March 19, 2019 to place a charter amendment on the ballot in March 2020.

Staff presented information on outreach effort...

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