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Districting FAQs

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  • What are the requirements to be a Commissioner?

    Commissioners must be residents and registered to vote in the City of Chula Vista. In accordance with Charter section 300.5.J, the Districting Commission will serve until its dissolution which likely will be the 91st day following approval of a Final Districting Plan.

  • Who is the Districting Commission?

    The details of the Districting Commission are prescribed in City Charter section 300.5.  The Chula Vista Districting Commission is overseeing a process for holding public meetings, proposing districts, conducting public outreach, and finalizing recommendations for four City Council district boundaries to be used in future City elections. The Commission holds monthly meetings on the Monday of each month in City Council Chambers. All Commission members live in and are registered to vote in the City of Chula Vista. The seven-member commission is:

    Rita Buencamino-Andrews 
    Ms. Buencamino-Andrews is a retired analyst from the City Clerk's office, City of San Diego. She served as a Partnership Specialist for 2010 U.S. Census. She has been recognized for exemplary leadership and service to the Filipino American community.

    Cheryl Goddard
    Ms. Goddard is a Land Use/Environmental Planner for the County of San Diego and primarily works in the South County. She has a background in Urban Studies and Planning and Ethnic Studies and also serves on the Casillas Elementary School Site Council.

    Dr. John Korey
    Dr. Korey is a retired professor of Political Science from Cal Poly Pomona. He has published papers on political and voting trends, civic engagement, and California politics. He has been active in local service organizations and was an instructor for citizenship training classes.

    Dr. Reynaldo Monzon
    Dr. Monzon is an administrator at San Diego State University. He has been involved in various committees, councils and community-based organizations in Chula Vista including the Chula Vista Elementary School District and Sweetwater Union High School District.

    William Richter
    Mr. Richter is an administrative associate at Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. He has experience in government affairs and communications. He has been involved in community and civic efforts and served on the City of Chula Vista Charter Review Commission.

    Jerome Torres
    Mr. Torres is a former member of the Redistricting Commission for the Long Beach Community College District and participated in the redistricting of the Council Districts for the City of Long Beach. He is a Senior Management Analyst and Risk Manager for the City of Coronado and has served as an analyst on the city, county, school district and university level. Mr. Torres serves as Chair of the Chula Vista  Districting Commission.

    Bernardo Vasquez
    Mr. Vasquez is the owner of Bernardo Vasquez State Farm Insurance Agency. He has served on committees for the Chula Vista Elementary School District and Sweetwater Union High School District. He served on the City’s Asset Management Program Advisory Committee. He also is the current Board President of the Eastlake Business Association. 

  • What are Census block groups?

    The Census bureau releases data on many different geographies, called "units of analysis." Census block groups are one such unit. The smallest unit is the Census block. We use census blocks to "build" the districts because those are the smallest unit on which the total population counts are reported, thus blocks give us the most accurate data for how many people live in each district. Census block groups consist of a number of blocks. Some datasets are only reported by Census block group, such as some variables in the American Community Survey.

  • Which data are used to draw district lines?

    To equalize the populations in the districts, the Commission has to use the PL94-171 dataset. That is the dataset that was compiled from answers to the 2010 census questionnaire. This dataset has a number of different variables, including the count of the total population. This dataset does not differentiate between citizens and non-citizens: everyone who lived in the United States on Census day (April 1, 2010) and who filled out a form is counted. Districts are not equalized based on registered voters or on citizens. Districts are equalized based on the total population.

    The Commission will also use other data sources to inform their district lines. Most important are data that are collected from participants in the districting process who provide the Commission with information about their Communities of Interest.

  • What information does the Districting Commission need from me?

    In the initial phases of the process, it is most important for the Commission to hear from you about your Community of Interest (COI). Once the Commission has constructed initial draft maps, it will be useful for the Commissioners to get feedback on whether their district drafts will work for the residents of Chula Vista or how they could be improved.

    Identifying Communities of Interest is one of the districting criteria the Commission will use to draw district lines. In order to comply with this criterion, the Commission needs to learn where the COIs in Chula Vista are located. Information and data about COIs are extremely limited from "official" sources. The Commission needs to hear from the public to make sure that they do a good job complying with this criterion. Once they understand what and where the COIs are, they can incorporate them into the maps to avoid splitting them inadvertently.

    The Commission needs to hear from you about what defines your community and where it is located. What is the basis or common interest that brings you and your community members together? For example, a COI might exist around a local school where people may participate in activities, around a bus transportation line that is commonly used by community members, around a park that is maintained by group of community members, or around an area with people that share a common cultural or language background. Sometimes, a COI is the same as a neighborhood. Just looking at a map, it is mostly impossible to know what common interests people living in a certain area share. Your information will help the Commission better understand what is going on with the people living in the different areas of the city,  and this will help them know what areas should be kept together in districts.

    You can submit your input on Communities of Interest using the contact form, preparing a map using an online mapping application, or submitting another map drawing. Please include the common interest you share with your community members along with your map. If you don't submit a map, you can describe it by outlining important landmarks, such as schools, parks or religious buildings located in the COI or neighborhood. Boundaries may include the streets or other physical features such as train tracks, rivers/creeks/washes, parking lots/shopping centers, etc., that form the outside borders of your community. This allows the Commission to locate your community on the map they will use to draw districts.

  • When are the hearings and what will happen there?

    Public Input Hearings

    The Commission will schedule five public input hearings plus one line-drawing meeting. After these hearings, a preliminary Districting Plan will be available for review. The Commission will then hold five additional public hearings to get your feedback on their preliminary Districting Plan, and then make modifications to the districts as necessary.

    The Commission is holding five public input hearings in April to hear from members of the Chula Vista community. At the public input hearings, the Commission's consultants will provide a brief training for all attendees and an opportunity for attendees to look at maps and data before providing testimony. Participants will be able to fill out a form that describes your neighborhood or community of interest to submit to the Commission or you can tell the Commission about it in person.

    Line Drawing Meeting

    Following the public input hearings, the Districting Commission will meet in City Hall on April 24 and 25 to draw lines for potential Council District boundaries and completing the Preliminary Districting Plan. The public meeting will be televised and live on the web. The Line Drawing Meeting is dedicated to working on and completing the preliminary plan.

    Preliminary Districting Plan Input Meetings:

    In May, the Commission will convene five public hearings to solicit public comments about the Preliminary Districting Plan. Following these public hearings, the Commission will consider the public input and then vote on the plan and send the Recommended Districting Plan to the City Council.

  • How can I get involved in the Districting Commission?

    The Commission will ask for your input in a variety of ways. You can come to one or more of the ten public hearing workshops and tell the Commission about your community directly. You can attend one of the Commission's business meetings and provide information during open forum. You can request that translation services be provided at the hearings in the following languages: Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Traditional Chinese.

    If you can't attend a hearing, you can tell the Commission about your community in writing. You can drop off or send information to the Commission at the City Clerk's Office:

    Chula Vista Districting Commission
    c/o Chula Vista City Clerk
    Building A
    276 Fourth Ave.
    Chula Vista, CA 91910

  • Why should I get involved in the Districting Commission?

    The Commission needs to hear from you to help it make informed decisions about where to draw district lines. In particular, it needs information from you about your neighborhoods and communities of interests. Only you know your communities and neighborhoods. Keeping your neighborhoods and communities together in the same district can help you get more responsive representation. By sharing that information with the Commission, you can help them avoid dividing your community into different districts.

  • How will the Districting Commission decide where to draw district lines?

    The Commission's decisions will be governed by federal and state legal requirements as well as criteria specific to Chula Vista. The U.S. Constitution requires districts contain roughly equal population and it and the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) prohibit racial discrimination. The federal Voting Rights Act also prohibits discrimination because of race and/or language minority status in addition to practices that have a discriminatory effect, such as at-large elections or districts that make it harder for a racial or language minority group to elect a representative of choice. (The VRA defines "language minority" as Asian, Native American, Alaska Native, or Spanish heritage languages.)

    Chula Vista's decisions will be governed by specific criteria in the Chula Vista Charter and the federal Voting Rights Act. The Charter outlines the following criteria:

    • Districts shall have reasonably equal population as required by the Federal and State Constitutions
    • District boundaries shall be geographically compact and contiguous
    • Districts shall follow visible features and boundaries when possible
    • Districts shall respect communities of interest to the extent practicable
    • Disregard incumbents, candidates, political parties
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