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On March 9, 2022, the City received a certified letter from attorney Kevin Shenkman, from the law firm of Shenkman & Hughes, on behalf of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, alleging that the City’s current at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) (Elections Code §§ 14025-14032) by disenfranchising Latinos and demanding that the City transition to by-district elections. A copy of the letter was placed on the City’s website under the Transparency tab via the “District Elections” link.
The City was required to respond within 45 days of receipt (April 23, 2022) and declare the City Council’s intention to transition from at-large to by-district elections. At a Special Meeting of the City Council on April 19, 2022, the City Council adopted a Resolution to declare the City Council's intention to transition from at-large to by-district elections and executed an agreement to retain National Demographics Corporation (NDC) as a demographer to begin the process.
With NDC's assistance, the City setup a website to allow residents to draw maps, based on the legal criteria, learn about the transition to by-district elections, and answer questions. Following 5 public hearings, a community workshop (June 21, 2022), mailers and City publications, the City Council adopted a district map (see below) and sequence of elections at its October 4, 2022, regular meeting.
Beginning with November 2024 election, La Palma residents will vote for 1 City Council seat. Candidate(s) for each district may only run for the district seat in which they live in and the district voters may only vote for candidate(s) in their district of residency. The term of each City Council seat remains the same, serving 4 years and no more than 2 consecutive terms. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem will be selected each year by the Council, as it was with the at-large election system. Following each decennial Census the City will have to draw new districts.