City of Indio to Hold Final Two Public Hearings on District-based Elections

INDIO, CA (June 30, 2017) – After a high turn-out from residents at the last public hearing on June 21, 2017, the City of Indio encourages more feedback from residents at the final two public hearings scheduled on July 5, 2017, and August 2, 2017, at 5 p.m. in Indio City Council Chambers, 150 Civic Center Mall, Indio, CA 92201. On April 19, 2017, the Indio City Council approved a resolution to transition from its current system of at-large elections (one in which all voters in the city vote for the entire city council) to a district-based election system (one in which city council candidates from specified geographic districts are elected only by voters within their district).

“Our goal in this process is that every resident and community of interest will be fully represented in the voting process for elected officials,” said Elaine Holmes, Mayor of the City of Indio. “I encourage every resident to participate in drafting the maps and attend our public hearings.”

District based election systems are a result of the California Voting Rights Act, which was enacted in 2001 to address disparities between ethnic demographics and elected officials. The public hearings are designed to identify how the City of Indio will create five districts that will reflect the ethnic makeup of the residents in that district. These districts will take into account the topography, geography, cohesiveness/compactness, and communities of interest in the districts. During the prior public hearings, the City developed initial drafts of the proposed districts. The City has been gathering input from the community and encouraging residents to submit their own maps to identify what districts they propose.

The City has invited its residents to attend the last set of public hearings to ask questions, provide comments, and participate in the process. The ordinance will go into effect in September 2017. The first district-based council elections will be held in 2018. The draft maps and additional information can be found at Indio.org.