Restore the relevance of the 4th Concord CA district maps hearing!
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The City of Concord is in the process of changing from "at large" elections to 'by-district." Under California law, this process requires at least 5 public hearings to consider alternative district map scenarios and other important considerations. On February 6, the Concord City Council made final decisions about district maps during the 3rd of the 5 legally required public hearings, effectively cutting off further public input and discussion of alternatives.
The Concord Communities Alliance will be sending the letter below to the Concord City Council. If you agree, please sign the petition - this will email a copy of the letter to the City Council's email address. We are asking the Concord City Council to respect legal process and public input!
Thanks for your support!
February 13, 2018
Mayor Birsan, Vice-Mayor Obringer, and Councilmembers Hoffmeister, Leone, and McGallian:
Last Tuesday, February 6, was the third of the five legally required public hearings on the drawing of Concord’s new City Council districts. At that meeting, members of the Concord Communities Alliance made comments praising the apparent integrity of the district map drawing process, including the clearer communication between the City and Contra Costa County Elections Department. We had advocated for the implementation of the new districts in the 2018 election, and the County Elections Department had clarified exactly how that could happen.
Immediately after the close of public comments on the item last Tuesday, we were stunned to see you render an apparently final decision by choosing a variation on Plan Blue (“Plan Cobalt”), and by making several decisions relating to implementation of districts before further - and legally required! - public discussion could occur. In the third of five hearings you selected a map:
- Without responding substantively or specifically to any of the carefully considered public input you had received (from both CCA members and numerous other Concord residents),
- Without showing serious consideration of any of the other plan options, and
- Openly prioritizing protection of yourselves as incumbents, after just having been praised for refraining from doing so.
You effectively dismissed all extant and future public input, contrary to the intent of the California Voting Rights Act. We presume these premature decisions were made inadvertently.
Inadvertent or not, we are writing to withdraw our praise. And we urge you to correct your mistake: at the 4th meeting on February 27, begin by rescinding all decisions taken on February 6 pending further public comment and council discussion during that the 4th meeting. While staff already has received some direction, the 4th meeting should allow for further public input, and respectful consideration of that public input from the dais.
Concord Communities Alliance
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