City Council redistricting

City of Menlo Park redistricting process

Every ten years, local governments use new census data to redraw their district lines to reflect how local populations have changed. Assembly Bill 849 (2019) requires cities and counties to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings and/or workshops and doing public outreach, including to non- English-speaking communities.

What is redistricting?

Every ten years, districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. In Menlo Park, the City Council is responsible for drawing city council districts. Redistricting is done using U.S. Census data, which is delayed for 2020, but expected to be released around September 30, 2021. For the City of Menlo Park, the redistricting process must be completed by April 17, 2022.

Why does redistricting matter to me?

Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a councilmember.

Our redistricting process, which involves members of the public, provides opportunities for input in selecting the next district map for our city council districts. You have the opportunity to share how you think district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.

You can contact City Clerk Judi Herren to find out more about how the process works.

What do the existing city council districts look like?

You can download a map of the City’s current city council districts. You can also look up your city council representative using our interactive tool.

Interactive District Map Opens in new window

What criteria will be used when drawing district lines?

To the extent practicable, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria:

  1. geographically contiguous districts (each city council district should share a common border with the next),
  2. the geographic integrity of local neighborhoods or communities shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
  3. geographic integrity of a city shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division,
  4. easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.), and
  5. lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness. In addition, boundaries shall not be drawn for purposes of favoring or discriminating against a political party.

How will our City Council notify the public about redistricting?

Our City Council will reach out to local media to publicize the redistricting process. Also, we will make a good faith effort to notify community groups of various kinds about the redistricting process. Our public hearings or workshops will be provided in applicable languages if residents submit a request in advance. Our City will notify the public about redistricting hearings or workshops, post maps online before adoption, and create a dedicated webpage for all relevant information about the redistricting process.

How can I get involved?

Our redistricting process will be include hearings or workshops to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. Those hearings or workshops will be held on dates to be determined (check back). The district lines will be drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission.

You can also submit public comments, including suggested draft maps, by emailing City Clerk Judi Herren.

Sign up for updates at menlopark.org/projectupdates.

Where can I find out more?

The City maintains a webpage on the city’s redistricting process at menlopark.org/redistricting.

Independent Redistricting Commission

The City of Menlo Park is seeking Menlo Park residents to apply for the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). The Commission shall be comprised of seven (7) commissioners and two (2) alternate commissioners. Alternates may fully participate in Commission deliberations but may not vote and may not be counted toward the establishment of a quorum. Alternates are subject to the same qualifications, restrictions and standards of conduct as all other Commissioners. The IRC will be responsible for setting Menlo Park’s electoral boundaries for City Council districts following the 2020 census.

Eligibility

There are limitations to who can serve on this commission. Please review Attachment A of the application to verify that you are eligible before you apply. You will be asked questions to verify your eligibility on Pages 2 and 3 of the application.

Application instructions

Applications are accepted beginning September 16, 2021. Complete all pages and submit no later than October 15, 2021. Submit your application via email to City Clerk Judi Herren or mail hard copy applications to City Clerk, 701 Laurel St. Menlo Park, CA 94025 Please note: Mailed applications are required to have an October 15, 2021, or earlier postmark. Please be informed that applications may be the subject of a public record request.