2021 Redistricting Process

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In 2017, following receipt of a letter threatening to sue the City of Poway for alleged violations of the California Voting Rights Act, the City Council made the decision to transition to by-district elections for the four City Council seats. The Mayor remains an at-large position (directly elected by the entire city). The City Council adopted the current district map on October 3, 2017 using 2010 U.S. Census data combined with 2018 demographic estimates. The City began the transition to by-district elections with the 2018 election and completed the full transition to by-district elections in 2020. To view the current City of Poway District Election Map click here.

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), also known as the FAIR MAPS Act, 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, City Council districts must be re-evaluated following the federal decennial census to ensure that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important to ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. In Poway, the City Council is responsible for drawing City Council districts. For the City of Poway, the redistricting process must be completed by April 17, 2022. The adopted City Council districts will be applicable to the November 2022 General Election.

Why Does Redistricting Matter to Me?

Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a councilmember. When the current City Council District Map was adopted in 2017, some of the key elements the City Council agreed upon were two districts representing north and south Poway, the importance of three districts representing the Poway Road corridor, and consideration of the proposed SDG&E gas pipeline along Pomerado Road in forming multiple districts which would have an impact on representation.

The City Council will seek input in selecting the next district map for our City Council. You have an opportunity to share with the City Council your views on how district boundaries should be drawn to best represent your community.

You can contact the City Clerk Carrie Gallagher at (858) 668-4530 or cgallagher@poway.org to learn more about how the process works.

What Do the Existing City Council Districts Look Like?

You can find a copy of the current City Council District Map, adopted in 2017, here: link

What Criteria Will our City Council Use When Drawing District Lines?

To the extent practicable, district lines will be adopted using the following criteria as established in California Elections Code: (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. 

Is there Anything Unique to the City of Poway’s Redistricting Process?

When the City of Poway made the decision to transition to by-district elections for the four City Council seats in 2017, to ensure the map complied with all requirements in California Elections Code, the City hired a demographer, National Demographics Corporation (NDC), as well as special legal counsel, Rutan & Tucker.

For the 2021 Redistricting Process, the City again hired NDC to analyze changes in Poway from the 2010 U.S. Census to the 2020 U.S. Census. NDC found that the City’s population deviation in the current City Council districts– the difference between the most populous and least populous districts – is well within the threshold where a map is considered “presumptively constitutional,” and therefore, the City is not required to redraw the map to comply with the federal equal population requirement.  This finding is due in large part to the City experiencing minimal population changes from 2010 to 2020. The City’s 2010 population was 47,811 and the 2020 California Adjusted Census population for Poway is 48,984. The map also complies with state law, including the newly enacted FAIR MAPS Act (Gov. Code § 21500 et seq.) During the upcoming public hearing process, the City Council, with public input, will have the option to consider maintaining the existing City Council district boundaries until the 2030 U.S. Census is completed at which time the district boundaries will be evaluated again. More information about NDC’s analysis is available in the link to the first public hearing staff report in the How Can I get Involved? section located below. 

How Will the Poway City Council Notify the Public about Redistricting?

The City of Poway will post information to the City website. The information will be available in both English and Spanish. Public hearing notices will be published in the Poway News Chieftain, as well as El Latino Newspaper San Diego. The City will send information out about the redistricting process through the City’s enewsletter, as well as the City’s utility customer email distribution list. Information about the process and upcoming public hearings will also be posted to the City’s social media accounts.

How Can I get Involved?

The City Council will be holding four public hearings to receive public input on where district lines should be drawn. 

1st Public Hearing:
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 7:15 p.m.
City Council Chambers
13325 Civic Center Dr., Poway, CA 92064
Option to Participate In-Person or Virtually
Agenda Report | View meeting

2nd Public Hearing:
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 7:15 p.m.
City Council Chambers
13325 Civic Center Dr., Poway, CA 92064
Option to Participate In-Person or Virtually
Agenda Report | View meeting (available next day)

3rd Public Hearing:
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 7:15 p.m.
City Council Chambers
13325 Civic Center Dr., Poway, CA 92064
Option to Participate In-Person or Virtually
Agenda Report (available one week prior) | View meeting (available next day)

4th Public Hearing:
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 7:15 p.m.
City Council Chambers
13325 Civic Center Dr., Poway, CA 92064
Option to Participate In-Person or Virtually
Agenda Report (available one week prior) | View meeting (available next day)

Additionally, you may also email the City Clerk at any time with input about the district boundaries and factors that you think are important for the City Council to take into consideration when establishing the City Council districts. The information will be transmitted to the City Council as part of the agenda report for the next scheduled public hearing following receipt of the comments.

Where Can I Find Out More?

For more information about how the current City Council District Map was developed, below are links to City Council meetings in 2017 when the City decided to transition to by-district elections and the district map development and adoption.

July 18, 2017 City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 3.1

August 1, 2017 City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 3.1

August 8, 2017 Special City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 1

August 18, 2017 Special City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 2.1

August 31, 2017 Special City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 2.1

September 19, 2017 City Council - Poway, CA (swagit.com) – Item 3.1