At its February 20, 2018 meeting, the City Council selected Map 635 as the map that will be used for districting of the City. The City Council also determined that district elections for a four-year term will be held in November 2018 for Districts 1, 2 and 5, and district elections for a four-year term will be held in November 2020 for Districts 3, 4 and 6. In addition, an election will be held in District 6 for an initial two-year term in November 2018 – thus allowing six members of the City Council to be in office after the November 2018 City Council election.
On February 27, 2018, the City Council held the final public hearing regarding districting and approved by a 4 to 1 vote the first reading of an ordinance implementing its decision regarding the district map and the sequencing of the elections in each of the districts. The City Council adopted this ordinance at its meeting on March 6, 2018. The ordinance became effective immediately.
Since the City of Oxnard was incorporated in 1903, the City has elected its Council members through an at-large election system. Under this system, candidates for the City Council can reside anywhere in the City and are elected by the registered voters of the entire City. (The Mayor is separately elected, but is also elected through an at-large election system.)
The City received a demand letter dated Oct. 7, 2017 claiming that the City’s current method of electing the City Council through at-large elections violates the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”). The letter alleges that the City’s elections “may be occurring by polarized voting,” and threatens litigation if the City declines to adopt a district-based election system. A district-based election system is one in which a city is divided into geographic sections, and voters in each section choose their City Council representative, who must also live in that district.
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010, the City will conduct a series of public hearings over the next 90 days to receive community input on the composition of proposed election districts for City Council seats. It is of utmost importance that Oxnard residents participate and provide feedback during the upcoming public hearings. It is the City’s desire to ensure that the proposed districts reflect communities of interest and that the citizenry be engaged in this urgent matter.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for details about district elections.
Ordinance 2934 Providing for the Election of Members of the City Council By Six Districts, Establishing the Boundaries and Identification Number of Each District, Establishing the Election Order of Each District And Adding Sections 2-2 to 2-3.5 to the Oxnard City Code
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