When our beloved city started down the wrong path, ignoring the Voting Rights Act and the decennial call to draw new district lines, we pulled together a coalition of concerned residents and grassroots organizations.
With support from the American Civil Liberties Union and The James Irvine Foundation, the Oakland Votes Redistricting Coalition persuaded the City Council to conduct the required program of assessing population changes and protecting “one person, one vote” apportionment. Strong leadership from Urban Strategies Council, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Oakland Local and Oakland Rising improved community engagement: residents drew 36 maps and shared great stories about their neighborhoods with us.
However, overall, the Oakland Votes Redistricting Coalition met with mixed success. The Council explicitly recognized prior gerrymandering but failed to fix it — that’s up to a Citizens and Residents Commission after the 2020 Census. Check out our recommendations for improving community engagement.