Sentinel staff report–
Want to have a say in how voting district lines are drawn in Citrus Heights? The city released an interactive mapping tool on Thursday that allows viewers to see population and racial demographics, with an invitation to the public to draw their own lines and submit a draft map to the city.
A separate “participation kit” map is also available in a printable one-page PDF, which lets community members highlight preferred district lines based on population. Maps can then be dropped off at City Hall, or emailed directly to National Demographics Corporation, the consultant group assisting the city with the districting process.
A note on the side of the map says the target population split for each of the five districts is 16,660. It also says there can be no more than a 10 percent population difference between the largest district and smallest district.
Although the PDF map is broken up into around 100 “population units,” a spokesperson for NDC told the City Council during Thursday’s meeting that draft lines can deviate from the population unit blocks, as long as the lines do not break up much smaller “census blocks,” which can be viewed in the interactive map online.
During a short public hearing held on Thursday night, Ted Costa, the only resident who opted to speak during the hearing, advocated for a plan to divide the city into four districts and then have a city-wide, at-large election for mayor.
Asked whether the city is considering a four-district split with an at-large mayor, city manager’s office spokeswoman Katherine Cooley told The Sentinel the city “has not determined yet what frameworks will be considered.”
Map instructions ask participants to use a thick, dark-colored pen to draw the map and then submit it in person or via email to CitrusHeights@NDCresearch.com. Mailed copies should be sent to National Demographics Corporation, at PO Box 5271, Glendale, CA 91221.
The deadline to submit draft maps is May 13, 2019. Links to the paper map and interactive online map are available on the city’s website: www.citrusheights.net/992/Transitioning-to-District-Based-Election.