You have heard from Blue Values Burbank several times over the past months urging you to become informed and involved in the “redistricting process”.
City Council was obtaining input as to whether to change from at large voting in Burbank, where everyone all votes for all Council seats, to districts where you only vote for one Council Member that represents your area/neighborhood/district.
We thought that Council would make the final decision last month about how you will be represented in Burbank in time for the 2024 election.
Short answer – nothing is going to change at this time.
There was a California Supreme Court decision that came in September that gave Council more leeway in how they can make this decision.
The CA Supreme Court said, in essence, the California Voting Rights Act is valid and cities can be forced to change how city councils are elected if minorities feel their voting power is diluted by at large voting.
BUT – and this is where our Council based their decision – there must be a specific method used that shows proof that minority votes are diluted, one cannot just make that claim (such as in what happened in Burbank). Also, cities can potentially use other alternatives to voting districts such as ranked choice voting and cumulative voting to address any proven voting issues.
If you have more questions about what, who, why, how – visit the Burbank City website on redistricting at https://
Redistricting is a process that will change how Council Members and BUSD Board of Education Members are elected. Right now, all members are voted for and chosen by all Burbank voters. Every elected official is an “at large” official meaning they represent the entire community at large.
Redistricting will break up Burbank into voting districts based on population and geography. The City and BUSD have hired a firm that specializes in drawing up districts that meet the legal requirements to have equity among the districts. So rather than voting for candidates for whatever number of seats are open on City Council (for example, in 2022 there were three seats open), you will vote for only one Council Member who will represent your district only. All candidates for a district seat will have to live in that district.
Both the City and School District received a letter from an attorney representing a Burbank resident that invoked a California law on this issue. The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was passed in 2001. CRVA allows a plaintiff to bring an action asserting that there was discrimination in how elections were conducted in a city based on race. Usually, a plaintiff has to prove that a specific minority has been unable to have representation in the local government due to unfair voting practices. The CVRA is more general in that a plaintiff can bring a case that at large voting dilutes the strength of minority voters in that city.
Since the CVRA went into effect, most cities and school districts in California have received “CVRA letters” that threaten litigation if redistricting is not done. Most cities and districts have chosen to not go into litigation and comply with the demand to eliminate at large elections.
What can you expect?
BUSD already has already been divided into voting districts:
We will see what happens with the possible formation of City Districts – stay tuned!
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