DUBLIN, CA – Dublin City Council voted on a district map out of 15 possible selections on Tuesday, but asked demographer Kristen Parks to present them with a modified version of the selected map before making a final decision at the August 1 final public hearing. 16. The map will be included in an ordinance and resolution on which council will vote.
In February, the city voted to transition to a district-based electoral system starting in 2024 after receiving a letter from a law firm accusing the city of a “racially polarized” general voting system. Pleasanton and Livermore received similar letters and also moved to district-level elections. California law requires the following districts, in descending order of importance:
- Districts must be geographically contiguous.
- Districts should minimize divisions between existing neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (ie shared demographics, shared schools, shared natural boundaries).
- Neighborhoods should have easily identifiable boundaries, such as major roads or highways, as opposed to smaller residential streets.
- Districts should be as compact as possible.
Districts must also not have a population difference greater than ten percent.
In the fourth of five required public hearings, council members submitted their top three choices of 15 preliminary maps that meet the population’s requirements – some created by professional demographers and some by the public. More recent population maps have taken public feedback from an extensive public awareness campaign and incorporated it into new maps.
After some discussion, council members gave a preliminary nod to map 112, which was one of the maps submitted by a resident using an online mapping tool.
In the current state of the map:
- District 1 runs from the western city limit to 680, then runs north from Amador Valley Boulevard to Brighton Drive, then follows Village Parkway to the northern city limit, bypassing Dublin High.
- District 2 runs east to Hacienda Drive, then roughly follows Tassajara Creek to the northern city limit.
- District 3 is bounded roughly by Hacienda Drive on the west, Gleason Drive on the north, I-580 on the south, to Creek Road on the east, with a jagged, winding border near Valley Vista Drive which is partly due to irregular census blocks, according to demographer Kristen Parks.
- District Four comprises the remaining northwest portion of the city.
All districts except District 3 run north to the city’s southern border.
Council members have asked National Demographics Corporation Parks to bring them back a revised version of 112 that moves a trapezoidal offshoot east of Village Parkway from District 1 to District 2 due to concerns it will unnecessarily break up the neighborhood . Council members also wanted to give more population to District 2, where Santa Rita Prison and FCI Dublin are located.
Parks said the trapeze contained more than 1,000 residents and could alter the population gap between districts, but said she would bring back a modified draft for review.
“I think it would be good for us to bring back a review because I think it’s important for us to see the population because Santa Rita Jail is at number 2,” City Manager Linda Smith said.
“We understand that this is going to make District 2 significantly higher than the others. We want to know how much it will rise if we put this triangle there,” Vice Mayor Josey said. “I wouldn’t change the east side and see what’s going on. If you come back and tell us that puts us out of compliance, we’re going, okay, but we want that to happen.”
Only council member Shawn Kumagai cited map 112 as his top pick, though he was also the first to question the trapeze east of Village Parkway.
“I was a little concerned about the little piece of District 1 east of Village Parkway,” he said. “I’m curious what people think about this neighborhood being cut off – Village Parkway north of the Amador Valley Blvd area right there. It felt a little odd to me to cut it there. You put high school there -in it, but all that area around the high school adjacent to it is in another neighborhood.”
Prior to Kumagai, Mayor Hernandez, Vice Mayor Josey and Councilman McCorriston all listed the district as their second choice, making it the most frequently mentioned option.
“The things I love about 112 are the low variance and the compactness – it keeps West Dublin together,” Josey said. “District 2 keeps most of Echo Park with the area that Shawn was concerned about with Lake Drive and Stagecoach and that area. It keeps Camp Parks intact with the boulevard, it also expands the business a bit.”
Three callers expressed support for map 113, while another expressed support for maps 110 and 111. The callers expressed a desire to keep West Dublin in one district and to have at least one majority-minority district, among other concerns.
Council members listed their top 3 picks. Click on the links to view the map and see detailed demographic statistics for each district.
Council members also unanimously agreed to accept an election sequencing proposal that would place Districts 1 and 3 up for re-election in 2024, and Districts 2 and 4 up for re-election in 2026. If Map 112 is accepted, Josey and McCoriston will compete. to represent District 1 (where they both reside), and Hu will compete to remain in District 3. In 2026, Kumagai will compete to represent District 2 and District 4 will be vacant.
For more information on the district election process, including all map projects and the history of the process, see the city’s district election website. To watch the hearing, skip ahead to 44 minutes here.