What is districting?
The Shafter Recreation and Park District (SRPD) currently utilizes an at-large election system for its Board of Directors, which means that voters from the entire District elect all of the five Board members. The Board members are eligible to hold office no matter where in the District they reside. A by-district election system, in contrast, is one in which the entire SRPD is delineated into separate electoral districts or divisions, each with one Board member who resides in the division and is chosen by the voters residing in that particular division. Districting is the process of transitioning to a by-district (divisions) election system.
How can I get involved in the districting process?
The districting process is designed to be as transparent and accessible as possible. You are invited to attend one or more of the 5 Board meetings to provide input. Please see below for the schedule. You can also provide input by email or phone. Please see below for contact information.
How are the districts drawn?
The California Public Resources Code outlines the following criteria that the board may take into consideration when constructing the new divisions:
(3) Cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory.
(4) Community of interests of the divisions.
Districting is also subject to a constitutional criterion that mandates that districts must be (roughly) equal in population. The districts must also comply with federal law, specifically the Federal Voting Rights Act, which aims to ensure that protected groups, if certain criteria are met, have the ability to elect a candidate of their choice.
When combining the above requirements, generally, the following criteria are used to draw special districts, like the Shafter Recreation and Park District:
● Equal Population
● Compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA)
● Respect for Communities of Interest (COIs)
In summary, this means the following:
● We will use a mapping program to construct districts (divisions) after any public input has been received.
● We will build a dataset that allows us to evaluate whether the district is in compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act.
● Census data will be used to find out how many people live in each part of the District and ensure that each division contains roughly the same number of people.
● Census geography will be used to ensure that the divisions are compact and contiguous
● We will collect and utilize Community of Interest data from the residents of SRPD in the drawing of electoral divisions.
How many people should be in each district?
As counted by the 2020 Census, the SRPD had a total population of 20,327. There will be 5 electoral divisions. To figure out the ‘ideal population’ for each division, take the total population and divide it by the number of divisions (5), which equals approximately 4,065 persons per division.
Do we use the number of voters to draw districts?
Districts or divisions are drawn using the total population as counted by the last census and adjusted by California’s Statewide Database. Everyone who was counted, irrespective of age, residency status or other demographics has to be assigned to a division. divisions are not equalized using voters, registered voters or citizens.
What information do we need from the public?
One of the criteria to draw maps is called “Communities of Interest” or COI. Because there are no datasets available for Communities of Interest, we appreciate your help to define them for the Shafter Recreation and Park District. A COI is a group of people in a defined geographic location that share a common bond or interest. Please tell us what defines your Community of Interest, where it is located and why it should stay together.
We have other helpful materials on submitting COIs, please see the districting website for more information. Please submit your COI by January 10, 2024, in order to be considered in the first draft map(s). We welcome input on the maps or districting generally at any point throughout the process.
Why should I get involved in the districting process?
We would like to hear from you so we can make informed decisions about where to draw the new division lines. Specifically, we need information from you about your neighborhoods and Communities of Interest. You are the expert who knows your community and neighborhood! If we know the geographic locations of the Communities of Interest, we can consider them when drawing lines and we won’t inadvertently split them! Keeping communities together in the same division can help to get more responsive representation.
How do I get answers to additional questions?
If you have more questions, we are available to answer them!
● You can attend the Board hearings
● Or email your question to: email@example.com
● Or call us: 1-661-746-3303