Modesto Districts Initiatve Measure

INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS

SECTION ONE: Declaration of Findings and Intent

A. This initiative shall be known as the “Election Reform Act of 2007.”

B. The stated intent of the initiative is to reform the City of Modesto’s election system by creating city council districts that will make elected officials more accountable to the citizens they serve, and reduce the impact of special interest money on elections.

The stated intent of the initiative is reform the City of Modesto's election system by forming six (6) representative districts.

SECTION TWO: Charter Amendments

SECTION 501 MANNER OF ELECTION

The mayor shall be elected from the city at large at the times and in the manner provided in this charter. The council members shall be elected by district at the times and in the manner provided by this charter.

SECTION 503 DESIGNATIONS OF COUNCILMEMBERS FOR ELECTION

As to council members there shall be deemed to be six (6) separate offices to be filled, one of which shall be designated as District 1, another as District 2, another as District 3, another as District 4, another as District 5, and another as District 6. The city clerk pursuant to Section 700 of this Charter has previously designated the six (6) separate councilmember offices as chairs 1 through 6 when the city clerk initially establishes district boundaries pursuant to Section 505 of this charter, the council member previously elected to a numerically designated chair shall be deemed to be the representative of the district with the same numerical designation. No candidate shall file for more than one (1) elective office. Such designation shall be used on all nomination papers, certificates of election and all election papers referring to the office.

SECTION 504: TERM OF OFFICE.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the terms of elective offices shall be four (4) years.

B. In 2009 and every fourth (4th) year thereafter, the offices of council members designated as District 2, District 4, and District 5 shall be filled at the general municipal election held in November, or at such other time as provided in this charter. In 2011 and every fourth (4th) year thereafter, the offices of mayor and council members designated as District 1, District 3, and District 6 shall be filled at the general municipal election held in November, or at such other time as provided in this charter.

SECTION 505: ELIGIBILITY, DISTRICT ELECTIONS

A. Commencing with the 2009 general municipal election, no person shall be eligible to hold elective office as a council member unless that person is, and has been for a period of at least one hundred eighty (180) days immediately preceding the filing of nomination papers for such office or appointment to such office, a resident within the council district corresponding in number to the office to which that person is elected or appointed. Each council member shall, during the 2009 general municipal election; the incumbents in District 2, 4, and 5 shall be subject to the residency requirements of this section.

B. The initial boundaries of such districts shall be determined by the city clerk no later than July 1, 2008 and shall be redetermined by the City Clerk not later than one hundred eighty (180) days following the publication of each federal census thereafter. The city clerk recommendations shall be subject to judicial review. The district boundaries shall be determined or redetermined in conformance with the following standards:

a) The territory comprising each District shall be contiguous and as nearly compact in shape as possible.

b) The district should be as nearly equal in population as possible according to the latest Federal Decennial Census.

c) District boundaries shall not cross census tract lines, except to the extent necessary to ensure that the districts are as nearly equal in population as may be according to the latest Federal Decennial Census.

d) The six (6) districts shall be formed by dividing the City into six (6) geographic areas that split the city evenly into thirds from west to east, and again in half from north to south, thereby creating a northwestern, Midwestern, southwestern, northeastern, mid-eastern, and southeastern districts, consistent with the other standards listed below.

e) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 1 shall be composed of the Northwestern-most census tracts in the city that contain one-sixth of the population of the city. For purposes of this section, a census tract shall be considered to be to the northwest of other census tracts if it contains any area that is farther to the north and the west than all areas contained within the other census tracts. In the event that two or more census tracts are equally northern by this definition, the city clerk shall select the western-most Census tract.

f) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 2 shall be composed of the Northeastern-most census tracts in the city that contain one-sixth of the population of the city.

g) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 3 shall be composed of the mid-western most census tracts in the city that contains one-sixth of the population of the city.

h) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 4 shall be composed of the mid-eastern most census tracts in the city that contains one-sixth of the population of the city.

i) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 5 shall be composed of the Southwestern-most census tracts in the city that contain one-sixth of the population of the city.

j) Consistent with Section 505 (d) above, District 6 shall be composed of the southeastern-most census tracts in the city that contain one-sixth of the population of the city.

k) If at any time between each Federal Decennial Census, the city annexes territory, the city clerk shall adjust the boundaries of any or all the districts of the city so that the districts shall be nearly equal in population as may be according to the latest Federal Decennial Census.

SECTION THREE: Severability

If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or application and to this end the provisions are severable.