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Aug 09

By-District Election Process

Posted on August 9, 2018 at 4:17 PM by June Lemos

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August 9, 2018

The second public hearing to receive input from the Community on how the districting map of Fort Bragg should be drawn is scheduled for Monday, August 13th during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

The purpose of this public hearing and the one conducted on July 23rd is to provide City leaders with direction on what is important to the Community in establishing the districts. 

The basic criterion is that each of the five districts should have approximately equal population or 1,455 people per district. If the City Council adopts a by-district election system, the boundaries of a district will determine who will run within that district. This impacts which City Councilmember candidates you will be able to vote for in the City. The boundaries also determine who else will be voting in your district. The interest and background of the other voters in your district will influence who is elected to City Council to represent your district.

The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was enacted to guarantee minorities, based on race, color or language, equal protection and the right to vote under the California Constitution. Because of this, we have focused on the number and distribution of Hispanic/Latino (protected class) voters in Fort Bragg. It is important to remember the City is made up of people of all ages, backgrounds, education levels, affiliations, political parties and interest. Hispanic/Latino voters are currently less than 15% of the City’s registered voters. 

Based on the American Communities Survey information, of the 2,788 households in Fort Bragg, 33% earn less than $25,000 and 20% earn more than $75,000. Only 39% of those households own their homes and 61% rent. Of the total 3,198 housing units in the City, 25% are multi-family and 75% are single-family units.
There are 4,946 residents age 25 years or older. Of those, 17% do not have a High School degree, 61% have only a High School degree, 16% have a bachelor’s degree and 7% hold a graduate degree. 

There are 3,487 registered voters in Fort Bragg, representing 2,211 households. Of those voters, 1,828 are registered Democrats, 553 registered Republicans, 26 registered Libertarians, 62 registered Green, 20 registered Peace & Freedom, 6 registered Reform and 992 registered Independents.

Even if you are not in favor of by-district elections, I encourage you to participate in the process of determining the district boundaries. One of the more important criteria, besides roughly equal population, for determining district boundaries is communities of interest. Communities of interest include such factors as: neighborhoods, retail and commercial districts, voting precincts and shared similarities such as income level, educational level or family composition. 

So the question is - what community of interest is most valuable to you?

Voter graph