Sunnyvale Considers Changes to Council Electoral System

Two Open Houses Scheduled to Launch Community Input Process

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (January 28, 2019) – Throughout 2019, the City will be exploring changing to a district-based electoral system for selecting City councilmembers. By City Charter, Sunnyvale currently has an “at-large” election system for seven numbered seats that represent the entire city.

Cities and other local agencies with at-large voting systems have increasingly been targets for litigation under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), which prohibits voting practices that dilute the votes of racial minorities. The CVRA offers a “safe-harbor” which states that any city that moves from at-large to district-based elections is assumed to have addressed purported CVRA violations.
“The Council wants to ensure that any changes to our council electoral system are driven by input from Sunnyvale residents. We will be actively working with the community throughout 2019 to educate residents and hear how they would like to respond to CVRA challenges, so that any future changes represent overall community priorities,” said Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein.

The City will be hosting two open houses to share information about the CVRA and options the City has to respond to CVRA concerns. Both open houses will present the same information, so residents can choose the event that best fits their schedules. Refreshments, child care and translation services (Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi) will be provided.

• Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6 – 8 p.m., Sunnyvale Community Center, 500 E. Remington Drive

• Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Columbia Middle School (Staff Lounge), 739 Morse Ave.

Visit SunnyvaleElections.org to see upcoming event details, submit comments and questions, join the project mailing list and review background information.

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