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Council Commits to March 2020 Charter Amendment

On March 19, 2019, City Council committed to placing a charter amendment on the ballot in March 2020. The amendment will ask voters to approve a transition to a district-based system for electing City Councilmembers.

Why?

Cities with at-large voting systems like Sunnyvale's have been targets for litigation under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), which prohibits voting practices that dilute the votes of racial minorities (known as "racially polarized voting").

Sunnyvale received a letter from potential plaintiffs in October 2018 alleging CVRA violations and demanding that the City transition to district-based voting. CVRA litigation is costly and no agency has ever won a case.

Commitment to Resident Engagement

The City Council is committed to a robust community education and engagement process to ensure that the new district-based election system is shaped with resident input.

In early February, the City held two open houses about the CVRA, how it impacts Sunnyvale, and the preferred timeline for a ballot measure. Based on this input, Council made the commitment to place a charter amendment on the ballot in March 2020. If the amendment is approved by voters, future councilmembers would be elected by district, beginning with the four Council seats up for election in November 2020.

The City is now seeking input from the community on the process to elect the mayor and the factors that should be considered when drawing districts.

You're invited to attend one of the three upcoming workshops to share your ideas, or you can offer your input online:

1. Thursday, March 21, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Sunnyvale Community Center RC Ballroom
550 E. Remington Drive

2. Thursday, April 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Lakewood Park Building
834 Lakechime Drive

3. Thursday, April 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Murphy Park Building
250 N. Sunnyvale Ave.

Supervised children's activities and refreshments will be provided, as well as real-time interpretation for Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish speakers. All three workshops will be identical, so you can choose the event that best fits your schedule.

For more information

Learn about the CVRA and the City's outreach efforts, and sign up for updates:

Sunnyvale Elections

March 20, 2019

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