The City of Covina (“City”) currently elects its City Councilmembers through an “at-large” election system in which each Councilmember can reside anywhere in the City and is elected by the voters of the entire City to provide citywide representation. On September 7, 2021, the City received a letter dated September 1, 2021,challenging the City’s current election method and asserting that the City’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”) and demanding that the City change its at-large voting system to a district-based election system. A district-based election system is generally one in which a city is divided into separate districts, with each district’s voters electing a representative from that district, who must also be a resident of the district.
While the City believes its current election system is consistent with the law and does not violate state or federal voting rights, the cost of litigation to defend the at-large system, coupled with the track record of other public agencies that have fought similar challenges, poses a significant financial and legal risk to the City. Due to these risks, on October 21, 2021, the Covina City Council adopted Resolution CC 2021-117, declaring its intent to transition to district-based elections beginning in the upcoming June 2022 election cycle.
The City of Covina is not unique in this situation. Agencies throughout the State have received similar demand letters prompting a shift from at-large to district-based elections. Locally, the cities of West Covina, San Dimas, Glendora and Duarte have engaged in similar processes and statewide, it has been reported that over three hundred (300) public agencies have made this transition.
The City of Covina, like hundreds of cities and school districts across the state, is making a change in how voters elect its City Councilmembers. Beginning in 2022, voters will vote for one City Council Member who lives in their district. This will replace the current system of at-large citywide elections in which voters have the ability to vote for all City Council Members.
We need your help to make this change and draw City Council districts!
One of our primary goals when drawing City Council districts is to draw lines that respect neighborhoods, history, and geographical elements. So we want to know: What do you consider the boundaries of your neighborhood?
How to participate
Share your specific thoughts, draw a map, or attend an upcoming workshop to get involved!
At the hearings and workshops, we encourage members of the public to share one or more of the following items:
- Define your neighborhood or community of interest
- Explain why you believe districting is relevant to your community
- Get the tools you need to draw a map of one district or of all four districts
- Share your opinions of the draft maps
- Talk to your neighbors and local organizations
- Ask questions or provide general comments about the districting process