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San Ramon releases 'draw your own' kits for district election maps

City Council to review maps submitted by public for consideration

San Ramon officials are calling on all cartographers, demographers, artists and anyone else interested who lives in the city to help them create district maps that will be used to guide future City Council elections, recently releasing a "draw your own map" kit to make it a convenient and easily accessible process.

In their efforts to increase public participation in the process, city officials have provided a "Redistricting Proposal Packet" and a "Redistricting Proposal Calculator" -- all full of relevant information to help residents make an informed decision and create their own maps dividing the district.

Maps submitted by the public will be distributed to the San Ramon City Council for consideration at a future meeting.

As many readers will know, the city is in the process of transitioning its election system from at-large to district-based for City Council seats, and in order to do so will need to divide the city into at least four districts -- one for each council seat.

In summation of the process, under district-based elections residents will only vote for a candidate who lives within their geographic district, essentially meaning residents can only vote for one council seat every four years, instead of all available council seats every two years as is the case under at-large voting.

City staff have provided tools and information to support and educate residents as they draw their own maps and have their voices heard by the council.

The "Redistricting Proposal Packet" contains demographics information and guidelines to assist with the drawing on an attached map, while the "Redistricting Proposal Calculator" is an excel spreadsheet that enables residents to see a detailed population breakdown using census area data.

It should be noted that all population and demographic data was gathered using information from the 2010 census, and districts will most likely need to be redrawn once more up-to-date information is collected from the 2020 census.

When drawing their map, residents are reminded that districts must be contiguous, as nearly equal in population as possible, be comprised of communities that share similar interests and concerns, and if possible follow natural and man-made geography and topography.

The attached map has already divided San Ramon into 32 different geographical slices, in order to help aspiring, and professional, cartographers create their preferred districts. Just be sure to use a thick dark-colored pen to draw the boundaries between each district.

Participating residents are also invited to submit additional information justifying their decision and explaining their goals, along with their completed maps.

The city's redistricting packet and calculator, can be found on an online information page set up by city staff. The webpage also contains numerous facts and frequently asked questions for residents seeking to learn more about district-based elections.

Completed maps can be submitted by email to districtelections@sanramon.ca.gov, or mailed/dropped off to/at: San Ramon City Clerk, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon CA, 94582. Maps must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 12.

The San Ramon City Council is next scheduled to discuss district-based elections at its regular meeting on April 23.

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