District-Based Elections

On December 18, 2019, the City Council adopted an ordinance for district-based elections. Beginning in November 2020, elections for city council members will be by district. The mayor is still an at-large seat.

The City went through an extensive process that included community workshops and public hearings before the City Council approved and adopted a district map.

The information below is from the transition process and is for archival purposes only:

At the October 9, 2019 meeting, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 4959, initiating the process to transition from at-large elections to district-based elections. Over the next several months, residents and stakeholders of the Westminster community will have the opportunity to participate in a series of public hearings and weigh-in on "communities of interest," the composition of the districts, and district maps.

Background/Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is the City considering changing its voting process?

The City of Westminster received a demand alleging that its at-large elections violate California law. Under the law, the City must go through a defined process of public hearings and take input on what districts should look like based on geography, population, natural barriers, and communities of interest.  The objective of the District Election Mapping process is to ensure compliance with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and try to ensure minority votes are not diluted. While the City does not believe it has violated any laws, cities that have opposed changing to by-district elections have incurred many millions of dollars in legal fees and faced court-ordered districting.

What are district-based elections?

Each of the newly developed Council districts will be represented by a single council member living within that district chosen by the voters of that district. Therefore, City elections will provide a new opportunity for geographic and demographic representation based on each district’s constituents.

What will be the process for creating voting districts?

The process will have both a technical and community input component completed in tandem to define and create the best recommendation for creating the district boundaries.  The technical process requires the formation of nearly equal districts based on population. Other factors also play a major role including topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguity, compactness, integrity of territory, communities of interest and significant and sensitive land uses.

Community participation is vital to ensure proper formation of the districts. An assortment of materials, meetings and other social media communication tools will be utilized to inform and engage the public throughout the technical process. This will include a number of public workshops as well as an opportunity for interested individuals to prepare their own suggested maps and submit them directly to the demographer, National Demographics Corporation, to provide direct input on boundary lines.

Who will approve the final districts?

The consultant team hired to consider public input and ultimately draft/evaluate possible district maps, National Demographics Corporation, will provide a written report that City staff will use to provide the City Council with a recommendation, following community meetings, public input and public hearings. Ultimately, City Council will determine which map best reflects the City’s neighborhoods.

When will these new districts take effect?

The new voting districts will immediately take effect. However, the first election to be held using these newly formed districts would occur in November 2020.

For additional frequently asked questions, click here.

Public Hearing Schedule

The City Council will tentatively meet on the following dates and times to consider feedback and the composition of the proposed electoral districts:

Date Time Meeting Type  Purpose/ Additional Details
Wednesday, October 23, 2019  7 p.m. Regular Council meeting 

To seek community input and to provide direction on "communities of interest" and the composition of districts.

Powerpoint Presentation

Tuesday, October 29, 2019  6:30 p.m. Special Council meeting 

To seek community input and to provide direction on "communities of interest" and the composition of districts.

Powerpoint Presentation

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 7 p.m. Regular Council meeting

To seek community input and to provide direction on the content of the proposed draft maps and sequence of elections.

*SCROLL BELOW TO "PROPOSED DISTRICT MAPS" TO VIEW MAPS*

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 7 p.m. Regular Council meeting  To select a preferred district map and to introduce an ordinance to transition to district-based elections.

 

Community Input Workshops

As part of the outreach efforts, the City will host several public workshops for anyone who would like to attend and learn about the process, meet the demographer, and provide input in an informal setting.

Date Time Location Additional Details
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Miriam Warne Community Building

14491 Beach Blvd., Westminster

Powerpoint Presentation
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5-7 p.m.

Westminster Family Resource Center

7200 Plaza St., Westminster

Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be available.
Thursday, October 31, 2019 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Senior Center

8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster

Powerpoint Presentation
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6-8 p.m.

Community Services & Recreation Bldg.

A/B Room

8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster

Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be available.
Thursday,December 5, 2019 6-8 p.m. 

Community Services & Recreation Bldg.

A/B Room

8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster

Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be available.

 

Proposed District Maps

Community stakeholders were invited to draw and submit proposed district maps for City Council consideration. The deadline to submit maps was 12 p.m. on November 12, 2019 and, therefore, no additional maps are being accepted for consideration at this time. The City's demographic consultant generated the population and other demographic details for each proposed map received. In addition, the demographer also generated additional maps to be considered. 

The following are the proposed draft district maps submitted by members of the community and corresponding demographic data:

The following are the proposed draft district maps submitted by the demographer:

To view all of the draft maps on the interactive viewer, click here.

To view the comments/rationales for all draft maps by the map authors and demographer, click here.

District Map Process

There were two map-drawing tools available. The tools included the Paper-Only Maps or using the Microsoft Excel Supplement. With these tools, stakeholders drew the borders of the neighborhood and indicated whether they wanted it united in one district or if they wanted the neighborhood to have multiple Council Members representing it.

Completed maps were emailed directly to the demographer or City staff.

Click here to access the White, Latino and Asian Citizen Voting Age Population Maps.

Paper-Only Maps

Stakeholders drew their proposed maps on any city map, or using the PDF maps (English Version) (Version en Español) or (Tieng Viet/Vietnamese Version).

Microsoft Excel Supplement

For advanced users, the Excel supplement provided the resulting demographic for each district, using the Excel file and the Map of Population Unit ID numbers (either the PDF map [English Version] [Version en Español] [Tieng Viet/Vietnamese Version] or the online interactive map) to assign the Population Units to the desired district.

To download the District Excel file click here (English Version) (Version en Español) or (Tieng Viet/Vietnamese Version).

To view the legend for the Excel Spreadsheet click here.

Interactive Public Participation Kit Supplement

Another tool used was the interactive map to zoom in and out on the Population Unit boundaries, Population Unit ID number labels and total population labels.

Additional Documents and Notices

  • Coming soon.