Modesto redrawing council district boundaries. Here’s how residents can participate

Garth Stapley/gstapley@modbee.com
·2 min read

It’s not too late for residents to weigh in on Modesto’s effort to redraw its City Council district boundaries based on the results of the 2020 U.S. Census.

Modesto’s Citizens’ Districting Commission is holding a public hearing Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. over Zoom regarding proposed redistricting maps. The meeting ID is 854 6125 4593, and the passcode is 592834. Residents without access to Zoom can participate by calling 1-877-853-5257 and then entering the meeting ID and passcode.

The city has been providing a Spanish translator at the commission’s meetings, and one will be available Wednesday.

Modesto elects its six council members by district. (The mayor is elected in a citywide vote.) The Modesto Charter states the districts should be geographically compact and contiguous, follow natural and man-made features, such as rivers and highways, and should respect what are called communities of interest.

These communities can include social, cultural, ethnic, geographic and economic interests, according to the charter. And the districts should represent roughly equal numbers of residents.

Modesto adjusts the boundaries every decade based on population growth and other changes in its population as reflected in the Census.

The commission has released three draft redistricting maps that will be discussed at Wednesday’s public hearing. The draft maps are similar to the current council boundaries, reflecting uniform growth and other changes in the city. Residents also can draw and submit their own maps for the commission to consider.

More information about the commission and the city’s redistricting effort is available at www.modestogov.com/1141/Citizens-Districting-Commission. That includes a link for residents to draw and submit maps.

The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing Feb. 3 to adopt a recommended map and forward it to City Council for approval. The council can approve the map or send it back to the commission for more work.

Modesto expects the City Council to approve a final map by mid April. The new district boundaries will be in effect for the November election, in which three council seats will be on the ballot.

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