For the past few months, the City has been holding regular community workshops to inform residents about the redistricting process and the ways for them to get involved. One of those ways is by defining -- and drawing -- what residents would consider a community of interest, said Redwood City Assistant Manager Alex Khojikian.
Communities of interest are "groups of people that share common cultural, demographic, economic, geographic or social interests," according to city officials. Some examples include senior citizens, those who share a language, neighborhood associations, residents associated with neighborhood schools and dog park communities.
The draft maps that have already been submitted can be seen here. Anyone regardless of where they live can submit a draft map via the online mapping tool or by paper by printing out the Redwood City paper map and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the following address:
City of Redwood City
Attn: City Clerk
1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City CA 94063
In October and November, the city is planning to hear feedback from the community and the advisory committee regarding the submitted maps, according to city officials. On Nov. 15, the advisory committee will decide on which map to recommend to City Council for consideration in December, Khojikian said. The council will then vote on the final map in January 2022, according to city documents.
Redistricting, which is based on U.S. Census data, is community-driven and is meant to realign the seven voting districts for the roughly 85,000 people that live in Redwood City, Khojikian said. This process takes place every 10 years and includes the federal, state and county governments, he added.
In Redwood City, specifically, City Council created a committee to guide residents and provide input to the council during the process, Khojikian said. Eleven residents were chosen as "ambassadors" to head up the Redwood City Advisory Redistricting Committee. They are:
- Amy Buckmaster for District 1
- Dr. Jose Manuel Pena for District 2
- Louis Covey for District 3
- Rudy Espinoza for District 4
- Hyla Lacefield for District 5
- Megan Gardner for District 6
- Daniela Gasparini for District 7
- Lisa Hicks-Dumanske - At-Large
- Esther Selk - At-Large
- Ray Brown - At-Large
- Rumika Chaudhry - At-Large
In 2019, Redwood City converted to a district-based election system from an at-large election system before the Nov. 3, 2020 elections. The map that was chosen prior to the elections was based on a draft map created by a Redwood Shores teen, Khojikian said.
To learn more about the redistricting process, read the city's blog here.