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San Ramon City Council continues analysis of district-based election maps

City has six maps available for public consideration

The San Ramon City Council on Tuesday is set to review a series of maps that will be used to guide the city as it transitions to district-based elections, in what is expected to be the second-to-last hearing on the topic.

Currently the city has six potential options for maps created by city-contracted demographers that residents are encouraged to review. Each map divides San Ramon into four distinct areas -- one for each regular council member -- that are similar in size and shape, and are divided into four distinct geographic districts that are designed with the intent of creating districts that contain communities of interest. The mayoral seat will remain at-large.

The transition to district-based elections was first initiated when the city received a letter by attorney Scott Rafferty on behalf of the Bay Area Voting Rights Initiative, requesting that the city do so, and threatening litigation if the council denied the request.

The organization's motivation, Rafferty said, was to avoid racially polarized voting, and give greater representation to San Ramon’s residents who are members of a protected class -- residents who are members of a race, color or language minority group.

At the City Council’s last regular meeting on April 23, council members selected “Plan Red” as their preferred option, favoring its simplified design. Following the public input on the options presented, the council is expected to select a preferred map, dictate any revisions to demographers, and give final approval at a future council meeting.

For residents seeking to learn more about the process, a full list of maps the council is considering, along with relevant demographic data and frequently asked questions, can be found on the city’s online district elections information page.

The San Ramon council will meet to discuss district elections, maps and other issues, at its regular meeting Tuesday 7 p.m., in the City Hall council chambers, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.

In other business

* Representatives from the San Ramon Teen Council will be present to give their annual report on the activities of the youth leadership group.

A volunteer organization, Teen Council members are tasked with advising the city’s various government agencies on issues and policies that affect San Ramon’s youth population.

* The San Ramon Teen Council will be followed by the Library Advisory Committee’s annual report.

* Council members will also be discussing The Preserve development, and will look to clarify the city’s language on what type of housing will be allowed in certain areas.

* Mayor Bill Clarkson will give special recognition to a group of San Ramon athletes, bestowing honors on the San Ramon Special Olympics Basketball Team Gold Medal winners.

* The council is also set to hear a series of special presentations and plans to officially recognize May as both Lupus Awareness Month and Water Safety Month.

* The council is also set to make more specific proclamations, and plans to recognize May 18-24, as National Safe Boating Week, and May 19-25, as National Public Works Week.

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