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 Oakland Unified Board 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 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. The City Administrator’s Office will form the Screening Panel based on the established criteria by December 31, 2019.
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 Member 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.
Beginning in December 2019, Oakland residents can begin applying to serve on the Redistricting Commission. The application period will close on April 1, 2020.
The City Administrator’s Office will review all applications and those that meet the eligibility requirements will be presented at a City Council meeting in July 2020. The pool must contain a minimum of 40 applicants, with at least three candidates from each existing Council/School Board district.
In July 2020, the Screening Panel will review all applications that meet the eligibility requirements to serve on the Redistricting Commission. By early-August 2020, the Screening Panel will narrow the list to 30 applicants that the Panel recommends to serve on the Redistricting Commission. The list must contain at least two candidates from each existing district.
At a public meeting in August 2020, the City Clerk will randomly select six applicants who will become the first six Redistricting Commissioners. Those six Commissioners will have until September 1, 2020 to select the remaining seven-voting and two-alternate members who will join them on the Redistricting Commission. There must be at least one Commissioner from each of the current districts serving on the Redistricting Commission.