Residents can review 11 potential maps showing 2020 voting districts

The city of Claremont has shared 11 potential maps outlining voting districts for the 2020 municipal election.

The call went out in early January for Claremont residents to submit maps for consideration, with 31 residents meeting the January 22 deadline. After eliminating proposals due to non-congruent districts, duplication or for not meeting district population guidelines, eight maps submitted by residents passed muster, with city consultants National Demographic Corporation (NDC) drawing three of the final 11.

In November 2018, the Claremont City Council decided to begin the shift to by-district elections because of a string of lawsuits against cities statewide regarding California Voter Rights Act. The city, at the recommendation of its legal counsel, initiated the process of districting in an effort to avoid possible future legal fees.

As Doug Johnson of NDC explained in a presentation at the January 8 council meeting, even receiving a demand letter from an attorney could cost a city $30,000.

Councilmember Larry Schroeder alluded to an unnamed “former Claremont resident who now lives up north” who had contacted the city by email regarding district-based elections in town.

Mayor Corey Calaycay urged the city to be as transparent as possible by naming the individual and explaining why the city has placed such urgency on moving to districting. But, so far, the individual has not been named. A public records request asking for the person’s name and a copy of the letter was sent by the COURIER to the city Monday afternoon.

The resolution of intent was adopted on November 27, leaving the city 90 days—or until February 12—to complete the process. No meetings were held regarding districting during the month of December, giving some residents the feeling that things are rushed.

The 11 draft maps are available for review on the city website and at Claremont-courier.com. Additionally, the COURIER welcomes residents to visit its office at 114 Olive St., in Claremont, to view paper copies of the map.

The first public hearing will be held in the council chamber, 225 W. Second St., at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4, at which time residents can offer public comment on the proposed districts. Residents can also review the maps and give input at two workshops on Saturday, February 9.  This first is at 11 a.m. at the Youth Activity Center, 1717 N. Indian Hill Blvd. and the second is at 2 p.m. at Claremont Place Senior Living, 120 W. San Jose Ave.

Mr. Johnson explained that if a resident has an objection to a map or would like to submit a map after January 28, they can, but it won’t be offered for public review until the second hearing on Tuesday, February 12 in council chambers at 6:30 p.m.

Look below to view the 11 proposed maps. For more information, visit the city’s website or call the city manager’s office at (909) 399-5441.

—Kathryn Dunn

editor@claremont-courier.com

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