On February 22, 2022, the City received a letter challenging the City’s current election system and asserting that the City’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). In light of the letter and to protect the City from financial and legal risks, Santa Paula has taken steps to consider transitioning its at-large election process to district-based elections.
In accordance with standard districting practices established by the State of California, the City of Santa Paula is using the 2020 Census data that was released in September 2021 to create voting districts for the first time.
The district formation process determines how neighborhoods and communities are grouped together for the purposes of electing City Council Members. Beginning in 2024, the City will be divided into five separate districts and voters will vote for one City Council Member who lives in their district, replacing the current system of at-large citywide elections.
The City is offering different mapping tools that include demographic breakdowns based on the Census data for residents to gain insights about their community and draw their own district maps for consideration. The following tools are now available on the City’s districting website:
- Paper maps with population counts that can be printed, drawn on and submitted to the City via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maps can also be dropped off at or mailed to 970 Ventura Street.
- An online application called Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA), which enables residents to create, view, analyze and share district maps with other community members.
- An interactive review map, similar to Google maps, where residents can explore population numbers and other statistics, as well as view and analyze draft maps once they are available.
Residents can access and provide detailed feedback at their convenience. Community members can submit as many maps as they would like throughout the districting process. The deadline to submit maps to be considered for final adoption is February 1, 2023.
To demonstrate how to use these mapping tools, the City is hosting several community workshops for the public with the first one on September 14 at 6 p.m. at the Santa Paula Community Center. Residents will also have an opportunity to engage with one another and provide input on neighborhoods that should be kept together in a single district.
Based on feedback received from the public during the first public hearing on August 3, the City Council directed City staff to add additional participation opportunities to the districting schedule. The City is now offering two additional workshops for residents to get involved:
- Thursday, October 6 at 6 p.m. via Zoom
- Thursday, December 1 at 6 p.m. at the Church of Guadalupe
Spanish interpretation services will be made available at all community workshops.
“The input we receive from the community during this process is extremely important for Council and we want to engage as many residents as possible,” said Mayor Jenny Crosswhite. “We recognize this is a big change for our City. To maintain the integrity of our communities and neighborhoods, I encourage every resident in the City to get involved by attending the workshops, filling out the online questionnaire, or drawing their own maps.”
To access mapping tools or to sign up for updates and information, visit DrawSantaPaula.org.
Read the full bilingual press release.