By-district maps adopted by Rancho Cordova for 2024 city council elections

During their Monday, October 2 meeting, the Rancho Cordova City Council formally adopted maps for by-district voting in 2024. Like other California municipalities and governing bodies, the Rancho Cordova was forced to change for violation of the California Voting Rights Act and under threats of expensive lawsuits.

Since its 2003 incorporation, city council members were selected from a true at-large system where residency anywhere in the city was the only reequipment to be on the ballot. On June 7, the city received a letter from attorney Scott J. Rafferty threatening a civil rights lawsuit. 

Before adopting map 516-C, the city council heard testimony from several residents criticizing the new city council districts. Some criticized the map for having only one district along the American River, while others said the city council was breaking up communities of interest.

Speaking on the communities of interest, Fayzah Mughal said the city council intentionally split minority voters' communities of interest and that it violated state and federal law.

"Map 516 C is guilty of racial vote dilution, grouping impacted areas like White Rock with newer areas like Rio Del Oro and Stone Creek dilutes White Rock's chance of proper presentation," she said. 

With the new map, districts 1, 3, and 4 will be on the 2024 ballot, and 2 and 5 will be in 2026. Given that three council members currently reside in District 4, considerable political jockeying will be underway as elections approach. 

During their deliberation, Mayor Linda Budge complained about being forced into by-district elections, saying it may cause members to focus only on their district. Budge's complaint is commonly expressed by incumbents who fear more competitive races. 

"I would have never willingly voted to undertake this," Budge said. "From my perspective, this is not a healthy way to run a city." 

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