What is Draw My CA Community?
DrawMyCACommunity.org is a free, online mapping application designed to submit Communities of Interest to the California State Citizens Redistricting Commission. This handout provides instructions for how to use DrawMyCACommunity.org to submit Communities of Interest (COIs) to the Shafter Recreation and Park District to be considered during the districting process. This website is available anywhere you can log on to the internet. If you need help using the website at any point, click on the help button in the top right corner to view a tutorial or read the user guide.
How to use Draw My CA Community
To understand your community, the SRPD Board of Directors needs to know two things:
● who your community is
● where your community is
Through this tool, you can tell the Board about your community. Try to describe your community in a way that helps the Board understand what matters to your community and why it’s important that your community be kept together in the board new districts.
Along with the written description of your community, you will be able to draw your community’s location on a map to let the board know where it is.
Log in or Use as a Guest
You can use Draw My CA Community as a guest or by creating an account. If you make an account you’ll be able to save your work as a draft and finish it later.
To create a new account, click the “Sign up here” link on the home page, complete the form, and check your email. Follow the instructions in the email we send you to verify your account. If you do not see a verification email, check your spam folder.
To use the tool as a guest, click “Continue as Guest” at the welcome page. You will be able to do everything a logged in user can do except save your work. If you start using Draw My CA Community as a guest and decide you would like to save your work, you can still create an account and log in after you’ve started drawing your community.
Define your community
We will ask you to answer a few questions about your community. There are no wrong answers to these questions! The only limitation is that your community should not be defined by its support for a political party, candidate, or incumbent. If you have trouble identifying your community, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions:
● What is different about my community compared to nearby areas?
● What is important to my community that is less important to people who live in surrounding areas?
Once you have answered the questions about your community, you are ready to start working on your map.
To create your map:
● Zoom into your community’s location on the map, or use the search tool to find it.
● Use the drawing tools to highlight the area you consider to be your community.
● Some communities are small, consisting of just a few city blocks. Others can be much larger and can include multiple cities. Let us know where you consider your community to be, no matter how big or small!
● Your community should be drawn as one shape on the map, so that you can walk from one end of the map to the other without disruption. Avoid drawing a map that represents your community as broken up into more than one piece.
● For further instructions on how to use any of the map or drawing features, please visit: https://drawmycalifornia.org/documentation.html#user-guide
To send your COI to the Board:
● Once you are satisfied with your COI description and map, you are ready to send it to the Board.
● Click the Menu button (an icon with three bars) in the top right corner of the screen and select “Export.” You can choose to download your map as a shapefile or a PDF. Shapefiles can be used by the consultant’s mapping software and are most useful to the Board for drawing districts. A PDF might be useful if you want to show your map to others in your community.
● Once you have downloaded your COI file(s), email the files to the board. Open your email and write a new message to email@example.com. Attach the downloaded file(s) (to send a shapefile, you must attach the entire folder of files), and press send.
Why should you participate?
We need your input to:
● Make sure the Board knows about your community. In order to keep your community together in the new districts, the Board first needs to know that it exists and where it is!
● Give your community a voice and make sure it has equal access to the political process.
● Help shape new districts that give your community an opportunity to elect candidates who represent your interests on issues that are important to your community.
Everyone in the Shafter Recreation and Park District is invited to participate. Please submit your COI by January 10, 2024, to have it considered in the first draft map(s).