Draw and submit a district map

Districting is different from most issues that come before the City Council. Instead of being limited to saying you support or oppose a City-prepared ordinance or resolution, you can draw a map yourself!

When drawing a map, what criteria should I use?


Many factors may be considered, but population equality is the most important.

In a five-district map, the ideal district population is 6,405, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 640 people of each other in total population (roughly between 6,085 to 6,725).

In a six-district map, the ideal district population is 5,338, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 534 people of each other (roughly between 5,071 to 5,605).

Other factors include:
  • Communities of interest
  • Be compact
  • Be contiguous
  • Have visible (natural and man-made) boundaries
  • Include respect for past voter selections
  • Plan for future growth
You can use this interactive map tool to better visualize where Population Unit boundaries are located and switch back and forth between Population Unit ID number labels and total population labels. It works like Google Maps, except you use check boxes to choose what layers and labels you want to see on the map.

Notes on balancing the district populations


Mathematically, someone can draw a district that is 8 percent over the population limit, as long as all of the remaining districts are exactly 2 percent under the population limit, and that would remain within – although right at – the 10 percent maximum deviation allowed. Any deviation, in particular deviations over 4 or 5 percent between the smallest and largest districts, must be explained as necessary to meet one of the other districting criteria.

Each resident must go into one district, so drawing one district that is 8 percent overpopulated in a 5-district map would then require that all four remaining districts are exactly 2 percent underpopulated.


Draw and submit your map


Simply email your drawing or fax it to 818-254-1221. You can even snap a picture and email it from your phone. Alternatively, you can drop off your paper map at the City Clerk’s Office.

Paper-only maps


You can use the simple one-page map to draw your proposed districts and calculate the total population:
In a five-district map, the ideal district population is 6,405, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 640 people of each other in total population (roughly between 6,085 to 6,725).

In a six-district map, the ideal district population is 5,338, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 534 people of each other (roughly between 5,071 to 5,605). 

Microsoft Excel supplement


Are you familiar with the basic functions of Microsoft Excel? Then you can let Excel do the total population and demographic math for you. You can save the Excel file to your computer. Then use the Excel file and the Map of Population Unit ID numbers to assign the Population Units to your desired districts, and Excel will provide the resulting demographics for each district.

In a five-district map, the ideal district population is 6,405, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 640 people of each other in total population (roughly between 6,085 to 6,725).

In a six-district map, the ideal district population is 5,338, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 534 people of each other (roughly between 5,071 to 5,605). 

Online district-drawing tool


The most powerful map drawing tool, but also the most difficult to use, is the online districting tool. This tool enables you to draw districts census block by census block, just like the professional demographers. You can fine-tune your district lines and see, in detail, the resulting demographics as you draw your map.

In a five-district map, the ideal district population is 6,405, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 640 people of each other in total population (roughly between 6,085 to 6,725).

In a six-district map, the ideal district population is 5,338, so the largest and smallest districts must be within 534 people of each other (roughly between 5,071 to 5,605). 

Additional online tool resources are available:

How do I submit my paper map?


Simply email your drawing or fax it to 818-254-1221. You can even snap a picture and email it from your phone. Alternatively, you can drop off your paper map at the City Clerk’s Office. 

Once received, the demographer will calculate all Population Unit Data for your map and it will be posted online.