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Irvine City Council Selects Six “Focus Maps” as the City Moves Forward with Proposed District Elections

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Some three dozen maps of proposed Irvine City Council districts submitted by the public were considered during the July 11th Council meeting. After public comments and Council discussion, six were tagged as “focus maps” for further discussion and map-drawing.
 

This past February, the Council voted to put a City measure on next year’s primary election ballot. If passed, the measure would expand the current five-member Council to seven members — the Mayor elected by all voters citywide and six Councilmembers elected by geographic districts of about 52,000 people each.

To help coordinate the effort, the City has retained National Demographics Corporation (NDC), which has consulted with hundreds of cities and other public entities on districting and redistricting efforts. NDC is hosting a series of public hearings and informational community meetings.

Comments and draft maps are accepted through the website DrawIrvine.org. The site includes a schedule of public meetings and deadlines; frequently asked questions; resources for drawing maps; and other information on how to get directly involved in the district formation process.
 
Forty-five maps were submitted for consideration during the July 11th Council meeting. Nine were set aside for not meeting federal and state criteria or for mapping only part of the City. The remaining maps were evaluated based on a set of criteria. The main criteria are compactness and protecting the representation of communities of interest, meaning both geographic communities and, more importantly, ethnic and cultural communities.
 
The Council settled on six maps as best meeting the criteria. All of the focus maps have a district combining UC Irvine with the Irvine Business Complex on the City’s west side. Most also have two or three Asian-majority or Asian-plurality districts in the northern section of the City.

The six focus maps and others can be viewed by clicking here.

The map-drawing process will continue through the summer with more community workshops scheduled. The public can also suggest changes to the focus maps and continue to submit new maps.

A process of refining and winnowing the maps in response to public input is expected to result in a final map by this fall. That final map will then be voted on in March 2024 by the entire Irvine community as part of the expansion and districting ballot measure.

If the measure is adopted by Irvine voters, candidates for City Council in the November 2024 election will be running from the newly created districts.
 
For specific questions about the process, email the City of Irvine at districting@cityofirvine.org or call (949) 724-7575.

Roger Bloom

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