District Voting

The Buena Park Library District is an independent Special District  that was organized in 1919 under the Education Code of California, Sections 19600-19734. The Library District is governed by a five-member elected Library Board of Trustees currently elected at-large. 

The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) prohibits the use of any election system “that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election.”  Under the CVRA, the Library District has an opportunity to voluntarily transition to by-district elections and avoid a costly lawsuit.

On June 1st, 2021, the Library Board of Trustees adopted Resolution 2021-22  declaring the Buena Park Library District’s intent to transition from at-large elections to by-Trustee area elections to align with the California Voting Rights Act.

Community input and census data will be used to determine how district boundaries will be drawn.  To define the new districts, the Library Board 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 Library District encourages residents to participate in this process.

The formal districting process will include a minimum of five public hearings. At each public hearing the demographer will begin with a presentation to give an overview of the process and the criteria. The hearings will provide an opportunity to allow for public input to be presented by attendees. The demographer will use the public input in constructing the draft maps.  The draft maps will be posted on the website for review no later than seven days before each hearing.

 

See below for the scheduled public hearing dates:

Wednesday, September 8th  5:30 pm - Public Hearing

Wednesday, September 22nd  5:30 pm - Public Hearing - Virtual

Thursday, October 7th 5:30 pm - Public Hearing 

Wednesday, October 20th 5:30 pm - Public Hearing 

Tuesday, November 2nd  5:30 pm - Public Hearing 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “at large” and “district” elections?

The Library District currently elects its five Library Board Trustees “at large,” meaning each registered voter in the City has the opportunity to vote for all open Library Board Trustee seats in an election.

Under a district-based election system, the Library District is separated into geographic areas (districts). Voters within each district will vote only for candidates living within the same district; voters will not vote for candidates outside of their own district.

What are the Federal and California Voting Rights Acts?

The Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) was adopted in 1965 and is intended to protect the rights of all citizens to participate in the voting process. The CVRA was passed in the California State Legislature in 2001, based on the Legislature’s belief that minorities and other members of protected classes were being denied the opportunity to have representation of their choosing at the local level because of a number of issues associated with at-large elections. Upon a finding of a violation of the CVRA, the act requires that “the court shall implement appropriate remedies, including the imposition of district-based elections that are tailored to remedy the violation.” As such, the default remedy and the clearly identified remedy by the Legislature is district-based elections.

How are the districts drawn?

Generally, the following criteria are used to draw the districts:

  • Each district should contain nearly the same number of people.

  • Boundaries shall be drawn in a manner that complies with the United States Constitution, the Federal Voting Rights Act and the California Voting Rights Act.

  • Districts shall consist of contiguous territory.

  • Districts shall respect neighborhoods and communities of interest as much as practicable. Communities of Interest generally refers to a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of fair and effective representation.

  • Districts shall follow visible features and boundaries when possible.

  • Districts shall be compact (defined as not bypassing one group of people to reach another group of people).

  • Census data will be used to find out how many people live in each part of the city and ensure that each district contains roughly the same number of people.

  • Census geography will be used to ensure that the districts are compact and contiguous.

  • We will collect and utilize Community of Interest data from residents to draw the districts.

  • We will not use political party affiliation or past election results in the drawing of districts (except as needed to analyze compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act).

How can I participate in the process?

One of the criteria to draw maps is called “Communities of Interest”. Because there are no datasets available for Communities of Interest, we appreciate your help to define them. A Community of Interest generally is a group of people in a defined geographic location that share a common bond or interest. A Community of Interest is commonly defined as “a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of fair and effective representation.”

You are invited to attend one or more of the public hearings and tell us what defines your Community of Interest, where it is located and why it should stay together. You can provide input in person, or you can provide input by phone or email. You can also draw and submit your own map to be considered. It is helpful if you submit written commentary with your map describing why the particular neighborhood or area should be kept together in a single district.

If you are unable to attend a public hearing and would still like to provide input in this process or if you have any questions, please contact the Library. See contact information below:

Library Administration

7150 La Palma Ave.

Buena Park, CA. 90620

714-826-4100 Ext. 120

districtvoting@buenapark.lib.ca.us

 

By-District Election Documents:

Resolution – 2021-22 - 06/01/21