City of Concord, California

District Elections

Council District Election Map Selected for November 2018 Election

At the February 27, 2018, City Council meeting, the fourth public hearing was held on proposed district boundary maps and the draft ordinance to establish five Council voting districts. The City Council voted to introduce Ordinance 18-2 and waive further reading, which established the Cobalt Plan map as the map setting five Council District boundaries that will apply in the November 2018 District Elections. The adoption of the ordinance occured on March 6, 2018. The Council also directed staff to propose a work plan to explore the establishment of an independent commission for the next re-districting effort which will occur after the 2020 U.S. Census Data has been received by the City, before the 2022 election. Until now, five City Councilmembers were elected at-large, meaning that all registered voters had the opportunity to vote for all five council positions. Under the new system, City Councilmembers will be elected by district. One Councilmember, who lives in a district, will be elected by people (registered voters) who also live in the same district. This process has allowed the City to become compliant with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.

Background

On January 2nd, the City Council voted to transition from at-large to district elections.

On January 16th, the first public hearing was held to receive community input on what criteria to use to establish district boundaries.

The following criteria must be met in creating election districts:

  1. Each Council district must contain a nearly equal population. The 2010 Census numbers will be used to determine the population number for each district.
  2. Council district borders must be drawn in a manner that complies with the state and federal constitutions, state law, and the federal Voting Rights Act.
  3. In establishing district boundaries, the City Council may give consideration to the following factors: topography, geography, cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, compactness of territory, and "community of interests" such as neighborhoods, school boundaries, and common interests.
  4. The City Council may also establish other criteria, as long as they do not conflict with federal or state law.

At the January 23rd public hearing, the Council directed the City's independent demographer to create 4 alternative maps illustrating five potential Council voting districts in Concord that were published on January 30, 2018.

On February 6th, the City Council held the third public hearing to receive input on the four draft maps. At that meeting, testimony was received on the four maps from 28 residents through Community Town Hall, 10 e-mails, and 24 speakers. After public comment, Council made changes to the Blue Plan to create the Cobalt Map, which achieved the following, 1) renumbered District 1 to become District 2 and vice versa, 2) divided the Concord Naval Weapons Station into three districts, 3) moved the Downtown BART station and area to the east of it to District 2 to keep the downtown together, and 4) resulted in a lower population deviation of 4.3%. They directed staff to keep the precincts whole to allow a 2018 District Election.

These maps were created at the direction of City Council, indicating to staff to be sure each district contains nearly equal population, and keeping communities of interest, such as neighborhoods, undivided by a district boundary, to the extent feasible, while also respecting visible natural and man-made geographical and topographical features, including parks, and major transportation corridors such as Clayton Road, Willow Pass and Treat. Although not required by state law, the Council also requested that the City's districts follow existing precinct boundaries, where feasible, to facilitate the County's ability to conduct elections in 2018.

A map of the distributions of Concord's population was also created to allow for the public to submit different versions of the election districts.

Outreach Plan

The public provided input through the following array of options throughout the process.

Concord Community Town Hall:

Input during the District Election Process was received through topic forums on Concord Community Town Hall, a new civic engagement forum. The link is located on this page at the top of the column on the right.

Emails and letters

Send your comments to the City by email to DistrictElections@cityofconcord.org or by mail to City of Concord, District Elections - attn. Laura Simpson, 1950 Parkside Dr., MS 01B, Concord, CA 94519.

How often are the voting districts reviewed?

Because the population numbers in each district are determined by Census numbers, the voting districts will be reviewed every ten years following the Census. The next Census will be conducted in 2020, so the districts will be reviewed after the Census counts are released in 2021, and revised as necessary.

Why did the City of Concord transition from at-large to district elections?

The City received two separate letters from attorneys charging that Concord's at-large elections didn't conform to the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA). Under this statute, local at-large voting systems are prohibited if they "impair the ability of a protected class … to elect candidates of its choice or otherwise influence the outcome of an election." The remedy available under the CVRA is usually for the city to move to district elections.

Considering the significant costs to defend against a CVRA lawsuit and that no city has prevailed, a majority of cities receiving such "CVRA demand letters" have voluntarily transitioned to district-based election systems.

On January 1, 2017, the California Voter Rights Act Reform (AB 350) became effective which allows cities a "safe harbor" following receipt of a CVRA demand letter. This provides 45 days of protection from litigation to assess the situation, and if a resolution declaring an intent to transition to district-based elections is adopted within the 45-day period, then a CVRA action is forestalled for an additional 90-day period, providing the City time to assess and implement a course of action. By taking this approach Concord caps its financial liability at a maximum of $30,000. The Concord City Council decided to move forward with District Elections under the safe harbor provided by the California Voter Rights Act Reform.

City Voting Population by Race and Ethnicity

Concord Population^ Citizen Voting Age Population+
# % # %
Total 122,067 100.0% 81,803 100.0%
White* 61,416 50.3% 51,037 62.4%
Latino 37,311 30.6% 14,653 17.9%
Asian* 16,348 13.4% 10,504 12.8%
Black* 4,702 3.9% 4,309 5.3%

* Does not include Latinos. Calculated pursuant to OMB BULLETIN NO. 00-02.
^ 2010 Census Redistricting Data [P.L. 94-171] Summary File, U.S. Census Bureau.
+ Citizen Voting Age Population Special Tabulation from the 2011-2015 5-Year American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau.

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Campaign Disclosure Forms and Filings

Political Reform Act Campaign Disclosure Requirements and Filings
Since 1974, California has had in place a campaign finance disclosure law requiring candidates and committees to make public their contributions and expenditures. All local elected officeholders, candidates for local elected offices, and committees in support or opposed to local candidates are required to file their campaign disclosure reports with the City Clerk at specified intervals. Hard copies of the campaign disclosure reports are available for review in the City Clerk's Office.

Form 470, Officeholder and Candidate Campaign Statement Short Form:
A candidate who does not anticipate raising or spending more than $2,000 may file a 470 "Short" Form to indicate his or her candidacy. If a candidate does not intend to raise or spend more than $2,000, this may be the only campaign finance reporting form they are required to file. 
Filing requirement: original and one copy to the City Clerk

Form 501, Candidate Intention Statement:
The Form 501 indicates a candidate's intent to seek elected office and that he or she intends to raise or spend more than $2,000 in doing so. It must be filed prior to the solicitation or receipt of any contribution, or the expenditure of any personal funds used for an election.
Filing requirement: original to the City Clerk

Form 410, Statement of Organization Recipient Committee:
A campaign committee must file a Form 410 within 10 days of raising or spending $2,000. The Form 410 indicates the candidate for which the committee was formed, the name and address of the campaign committee, the treasurer and the location (bank name and address) of the committee's bank account. When filing the form 410, include a $50 payment made payable to Secretary of State. If your committee has not yet reached the $2,000 threshold, mark the "not yet qualified" box. The $50 fee is requested at this time, but is not required until the group qualifies as a committee.
Filing requirement: original to Secretary of State and one copy to the City Clerk

Form 460, Recipient Committee Campaign Statement:
At semi-annual intervals during the year and more regularly prior to Election Day, candidates must file a Form 460 outlining the manner in which they raise and spend money in pursuit of elected office. The Form 460 indicates the name, address, occupation and employer of contributors as well as the name, address and purpose for which payments have been made. It also outlines how much was raised and spent during that specific reporting period and in total for the calendar year. Form 460s from July 2017 to present are available HERE. Copies of 460s from prior to July 2017 are available from the City Clerk's office.
Filing requirement: two originals to the City Clerk

Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests:
The Political Reform Act requires most state and local government officials and employees to publicly disclose their personal assets and income. They also must disqualify themselves from participating in decisions which may affect their personal economic interests. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is the state agency responsible for interpreting the law's provisions. Copies of the forms for all City filers are available in the City Clerk's Office.
Filing requirement: original to the City Clerk

Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests (87200 Filers):
Government Code Section 87200 of the Political Reform Act identifies the Mayor, City Council, Planning Commissioners, City Manager, City Attorney and City Treasurer as statutory filers who are required to file Form 700s. Copies of their Form 700s are also available at the FPPC, 428 J Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, CA 95814 and in electronic format on the FPPC's website: http://www.fppc.ca.gov/transparency/form-700-filed-by-public-officials/form700-search.html
Filing requirement: original with the City Clerk; the City Clerk will forward on to FPPC.

Elected officials who currently file Form 700s with the City Clerk are:

  • Edi Birsan, Mayor
  • Carlyn Obringer, Vice Mayor
  • Laura Hoffmeister, Councilmember
  • Ron Leone, Councilmember
  • Tim McGallian, Councilmember
  • Patti Barsotti, Treasurer

If you would like more information, you may call the City Clerk's Office at (925) 671-3390.

Gifts to an Agency

Form 801, Gift to Agency Report
The Form 801 is for use by all state and local government agencies to disclose payments made to the agency when the payments provide a personal benefit to an official of the agency.

Report of Public Official Appointments
Form 806, Agency Report of Public Official Appointments
The Form 806 is used to report additional compensation that officials receive when appointing themselves to positions on committees, boards or commissions of a public agency, special district, or joint powers agency or authority. Each agency must post a single Form 806 listing all paid appointed positions including the date appointed, length of term and stipend amount.

 
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