In November 2014, voters approved a measure to create an independent Redistricting Commission that will re-draw and approve boundaries for City Council Districts and City Council and School Board of Directors districts. The measure also created a companion Screening Panel that will review and recommend Redistricting Commission applicants prior to the final selection of Commissioners.
The City’s redistricting process is summarized below. You can read more about the redistricting process and work of the Commission in Article II, Section 220 of the City Charter.
Screening Panel Overview
The purpose of the Screening Panel is to review applications for the City’s independent Redistricting Commission and develop a qualified pool of 30 applicants that reflect the geographic, racial, ethnic and economic diversity of the City of Oakland. The Screening Panel is comprised of three members with one of each of the following: a retired judge, a current law or graduate public policy student and a representative of a 501(c)(3) non-profit good government organization. All members must be Oakland residents for at least three years prior to the date of application.
Redistricting Commission Overview
Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, the City of Oakland and Oakland Unified School District must re-establish boundaries for City Council and School Board of Directors districts. Beginning in 2020, a 15-member independent Redistricting Commission made up entirely of community members will set those boundaries. The Redistricting Commission will have 13-voting and two-alternate members.
The Redistricting Commission will receive training from City staff and approve of any outside professional consultants that will assist them in the redistricting process. The Commission’s deadline to approve the final boundary maps is December 31, 2021.
Application and Selection Process
The application period opened on December 31, 2019 and closed on April 1, 2020. The Screening Panel also issued a supplemental questionnaire that was due on May 1, 2020.
The Screening Panel reviewed all applications that met the eligibility requirements to serve on the Redistricting Commission and invited 40 applicants to interview with the Screening Panel. On July 16, 2020, the Screening Panel nominated 30 applicants to advance in the selection process. The 30 person applicant pool contained at least two candidates from each existing district.
The first six Commissioners met each Thursday in August as they reviewed the applicant pool. On August 27, 2020, the first Six Commissioners selected nine additional candidates to join the 15-member Redistricting Commission.