Frequently-Asked Questions

How many people are on City Council?
The City Council consists of five City Council Members. The proposed change seeks to implement a “by district” election system, in which each City Council Member is elected from a separate district rather than by an at-large or Citywide vote.

With by-district elections, the City can adopt a map of five districts, or a map of four districts with a separately elected (at-large) Mayor.

Why is Redlands changing its system of at-large voting to voting by districts?
On Jan. 1, 2016, Senate Bill 493 was enacted under the California Voting Rights Act. This new statute gives cities with populations under 100,000 the authority to change the City’s election system from “at-large elections” to a “by-district” election system by City Council action. A move to this type of election system derives from two sources: (1) the City continues to expand and diversify with economic, industrial and residential growth, and (2) implementing a “by district” system in time for the November 2018 General Election mitigates the threat of costly legal challenges that have already been seen in cities across California.

Can the City adopt "From District" voting?

"From District" voting is a system where Council districts are drawn and the candidate to represent a given district must live in that district, but the election remains at large. For example, candidates running to represent "District X" must live in "District X," but there is a citywide vote to select the winner among the "District X" candidates.

The California Voting Rights Act treats "From District" election systems as just another form of "at-large" elections, so a change to "from district" voting would not protect the City from a potential lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act (and the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars of expenses that come with such lawsuits). 

What is the districting process?
State law requires an open and public process for establishing electoral districts, including a minimum of three public hearings. Once determined, a calendar of the hearing schedule will be posted to the schedule page of the project website.

How are districts formed?
The City’s electoral districts must also be formulated in accordance with requirements of federal and state law. Standard criteria incorporating these requirements are reflected in Resolution No. 7664, adopted by the City Council at its August 16, 2016, special meeting.

Where can I get a copy of the voting district maps?
Copies of the proposed voting district maps will be available on the "Draft Maps" page of the project website.

When the City implements district voting, what happens to the terms of incumbent Council Members?
All five Council Members will serve until the end of their respective terms:
Mayor Paul Foster: November 2018
Mayor Pro Tem Jon Harrison: November 2018
Council Member Pat Gilbreath: November 2016
Council Member Paul Barich: November 2018
Council Member John James: November 2016

Council Members elected (or re-elected) in the November 2016 at-large City Council election will serve until their terms end in November 2020.

​How does the State perform its redistricting?
Under Propositions 11 and 20, the CA redistricting amendments, the State changed its constitution and the California Citizens Redistricting Commission now votes on and approves Assembly, State Senate, Congressional and Board of Equalization district maps.

What if citizens challenge a district map?
That is always a possibility, however in court the citizen must show cause and must show that there is a violation of law. Courts do not get involved with allegations of “gerrymandering”.