Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Assembly Bill 849 (2019) requires cities and counties to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings and/or workshops and doing public outreach, including to non-English-speaking communities.
What is redistricting?
Every ten years, districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. In Ojai, the City Council is responsible for drawing council districts. Redistricting is done using the recently released U.S. Census data. For the City of Ojai, the redistricting process must be completed by April 2022.
Why does redistricting matter to me?
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a councilmember.
The City Council will seek input in selecting the next district map for our City Council. You have an opportunity to share with the City Council how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.
What do the existing council districts look like?
You can find a map of the City’s current council districts here: https://ojai.ca.gov/redistricting/
What criteria will our City Council use when drawing district lines?
To the extent practicable, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria: (1) geographically contiguous districts (each city council district should share a common border with the next), (2) easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.), and (3) lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.
How will our City Council notify the public about redistricting?
The City Council will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance. The City Council will notify the public about redistricting hearings, post maps online before adoption, and create a dedicated web page for all relevant information about the redistricting process.
How can I get involved?
Complete the “Tell Us About Your Community” form and E-mail us at Redistricting@ojai.ca.gov.
The City Council will be holding public hearings to receive community input on where district lines should be drawn. Those hearings will be announced in advance and the public will be able to attend. You can also submit public comments, including suggested draft maps, by email for those meetings.
City Council Redistricting Public Hearing Timeline
The redistricting public hearings will take place during the following regularly scheduled City Council Meetings.
First Public Hearing: September 14, 2021
First hearing, will review redistricting basics with City Council
Second Public Hearing: October 26, 2021
Walk Council through DistrictR, review timeline and basic census data
Third Public Hearing: January 11, 2022
Introduce first set of draft maps, discuss and take feedback from Council and public. Ideally Council will select final map for up/down vote at February meeting.
Fourth Public Hearing: February 8, 2022
Introduce final map for up/down vote. If Council asks for any changes, then map must go to next meeting for up/down vote.
Fifth Public Hearing (if necessary): March 8, 2022
Council will vote on final map.