The City of Montebello is switching from at-large City Council elections to by-district Council elections in order to establish equal voting rights for Montebello residents. Beginning in 2022, Montebello City Council Members will be elected based on districts, each representing a portion of the city instead of having each council member elected by the entire city.
The California Voting Rights Act strongly encourages cities to create district seats, and in recent years more than 250 California cities and school districts have transitioned from at-large to district elections.
To define the new districts, the City Council must undertake a district formation mapping process, led by a demographer and legal team to ensure that the maps meet all legal and regulatory criteria. The City of Montebello is committed to transparency and encourages residents and stakeholders to participate. The entire process is expected to take at least six months to finalize the new district maps.
Actions Taken by the City
March 15, 2021: City received a Notice of Possible Violation of the California Voting Rights Act letter from attorney Scott J. Rafferty (Rafferty), on behalf of his client, demanding that Montebello transition to district-based elections or face legal action.
April 22, 2021: Mr. Rafferty agreed to extend the 45-day deadline to adopt a Resolution of Intention until May 27, 2021.
May 26, 2021: City Council adopted a Resolution of Intention to transition from an at-large to a by-districts election process in compliance with the “safe-harbor” provision reviewed above.
June 23, 2021: City Attorney conducted a CVRA Public Orientation Meeting and presented to the City Council and residents of Montebello information about the CVRA, explaining why the City has decided to transition to a by-district elections process and what that process requires. City Council gave the City Attorney direction to continue the transition to a by-district election process and gave Staff direction to retain National Demographics Corporation as its Demographic Consultant for this transition.
|Steps to Take||Timing - Elections Code §|
Adopt Resolution of Intention to Change to By-District Election Process; Adopt Tentative Schedule
|Within 45 days of receiving demand letter|
|Public Hearings #1 and #2 (Before Maps Drawn)||No more than 30 days apart|
|Public Hearing #3 – Draft Maps Published||7 days prior to public hearing|
|Public Hearing #4 – Draft Maps Published if Initial Draft Modified||7 days prior to public hearing|
|Public Hearing #5 – Adoption of Ordinance establishing districts; Adoption of Final District Map||Within 90 days from adoption of Resolution of Intention|
|Implement By-District Election Process||Next Regular Election|
By-District Election Documents