City of Indio to Hold Public Hearings About District-Based Elections

Residents Encouraged to Participate to Provide Feedback and Draw Maps

INDIO, CA (June 15, 2017) – The City of Indio will hold a series of public hearings about the City Council’s recent 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). The City has invited its residents to attend a series of public hearings to ask questions, provide comments, and participate in the process. The next public hearings will be held during the City Council meetings on June 21, 2017, and July 19, 2017, at 5 p.m.

District based election systems are a result of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), 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 public hearing process, the City will develop an initial draft of the proposed districts. An independent demography specialist will then review the demographics of the city and finalize five districts that reflect the ethnic and demographic diversity of each district. At the same time, the City will gather input from the community and encourage residents to submit their own maps to identify what districts they propose.

“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.”

After the proposed districts are identified, the City will continue the public hearings and ordinance process to fully vet the proposed districts. The ordinance will go into effect in August 2017. The first district-based council elections will be held in 2018.