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City of Palm Desert inviting residents to weigh in on redistricting

After residents voted in favor of 'Measure B' in the November 2022 election, the City of Palm Desert is drafting a five district map.

Now in a first of its kind opportunity, the city is asking residents to weigh in on the new city council district lines.

Palm Desert City Clerk, Anthony Mejia said, "Under districting, everybody will be able to select one councilmember every four years."

The City of Palm Desert is working to adopt the new district map before the 2024 November election, impacting how voters elect city councilmemebers until the next round of redistricting after the 2030 Census. 

Instead of ranked choice voting that the city utilized in 2022, "Everybody within that district vote gets one vote to select the councilmember of their choice," said Mejia.

Now the City of Palm Desert is asking for residents to weigh on developing new district boundaries.

"What we're really looking for from residents is what are those communities of interest that they describe to be their neighborhood? Where do people go to school? Where do people go grocery shopping? Where do you go for your pharmacy refills? We want to make sure that whatever you think of as your neighborhood, we're taking that into consideration," said Mejia.

The city plans to keep District 1 and split the current District 2 into four parts. By 2024 all five districts will contain about 20 percent of the population.  

"Then that councilmember needs to reside from that district in order to serve on the city council," said Mejia.

The City of Palm Desert is hosting its first community workshop Wednesday, September 6 along with two hearings September 14 and 28.

"There, we're going to be reviewing the required criteria when developing district boundaries. We'll also be soliciting public comment about what residents want to be considered when we're developing the neighborhood boundaries, and to provide the public with information on how they can submit their own maps for city council consideration," said Mejia.

Residents can also visit to draw and submit their own district draft map. 

By establishing five districts, the City of Palm Desert is complying with the California Voting Rights Act, ensuring that residents have equal opportunities to elect councilmembers of their choice. 

You can find the full schedule of Redistricting workshops and hearings here.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.


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