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Menlo Park: New committee begins work to draw districts

Menlo Park's nine District Advisory Committee members take the oath of office on Jan. 22. (Photo by Kate Bradshaw/The Almanac.)

Members of Menlo Park's new Districting Advisory Committee took the oath of office Jan. 22 and laid the ground rules for their upcoming work over the next month.

The committee is racing against the clock to fairly divide Menlo Park into electoral districts in response to a lawsuit threat the city received in August, alleging that its at-large voting system makes it harder for the city's minority residents to elect candidates they prefer. The city must switch to a district system by the next election or be at risk of a lawsuit.

Committee members are to come up with recommendations for district boundaries that would fairly divide the city's population into five or six electoral districts that will ultimately go before the City Council.

In addition to taking the oath of office on Monday, committee members spoke with consultants from the National Demographics Corporation about their assignment and learned about the rules of transparency they will have to follow, including abiding by the Brown Act, disclosing their financial interests and informing the acting City Clerk, Clay Curtin, about discussions on the topic they have outside of the group's meetings.

The committee's next two meetings are scheduled for:

● Monday, Jan. 29, 7:15 p.m., at City Hall, 701 Laurel St. Access the agenda here.

● Friday, Feb. 2, 1 p.m., at City Hall, 701 Laurel St.

Others are tentatively scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5; Monday, Feb. 12; Thursday, Feb. 15; and Thursday, Feb. 22.


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2 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 26, 2018 at 7:20 pm

It's going to be interesting to see who from the Willows will run for that district. You go Chuck Bernstein.....get on that city council.

Like this comment
Posted by districts
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 30, 2018 at 1:59 am

@Citizen, when Chuck Bernstein last ran for city council, he came in 5th place in every precinct in the Willows, but to be fair, Chuck Bernstein came in 5th or 6th place in every precinct but one, where he came in 4th place.

The Willows (as defined by realtors) isn't a 5th or 6th of Menlo Park's population. A single district could include all of the Willows and some other areas (from Linfield Oaks to Lorelei Manor). What we consider the Willows could also be cut in two.

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