The City of Menlo Park is changing the way City Council members are elected, from at large elections to "by district" elections. Here are some important things to know about this change.
The change to by-district elections is happening
Once notified of a legal challenge (received the letter in August 2017), the City Council adopted a Resolution of Intention to make the change to "by district" City Council elections voluntarily. The alternative would have been to fight the challenge. So far, no one has won this kind of challenge, and many have paid legal fees in the millions.
You can be involved
We're currently accepting maps from the public with recommendations for where the district boundaries should go. To get started on drawing your own district boundaries map, use the online tool or stop by the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall to get a map making kit.
Follow the work of the Advisory Districting Committee
The Advisory Districting Committee is operating under a tight schedule to complete its work and make its final recommendations on draft district boundaries maps and election sequencing. Every meeting of the Advisory Districting Committee is open, publicly noticed and provides for public comment.
District boundaries are based on community
The Committee will take into account district population, requirements of the Federal and California Voting Rights Acts, and districts shall not be drawn with race as the predominate factor. A professional demographer will review and calculate demographic information for all draft maps. District boundaries and maps submitted by the public are welcome as these will be reviewed based on the legal criteria in the federal and state voting rights acts. They will also be published on the city website for public review.
Some things haven't been decided yet
Like how many districts. We'll either have five districts and a rotating mayoral role (similar to now) or six City Council districts plus an "at large" mayor. We're exploring the possibilities and ramifications of each and asking the public to create possible maps for each.