Photo: City of El Monte / Courtesy
Next March 1st, a series of public hearings will begin in the city of El Monte to listen to residents and thus draw the district maps in which the city will be divided at the time of voting.
“If you look at all of the governing bodies within the city, we have a very diverse representation that reflects the various cultures within our community, from a wide age range, Latino, Asian, LGBTQIA+ communities and made up of men and women,” he said. Mayor Jessica Ancona.
“El Monte residents have done a good job of electing representatives who look like them, but I also feel that by moving to districts, we can take representation a step further for the 2024 election.”
Ancona stressed that as elected officials they have earned the trust of voters, “we have become their voices,” he said. “However, we must allow their voices to be heard during this process.”
Councilwoman Dr. María Morales shared that “this is an opportunity and a testimony of the City’s relationship with its institutions and its people. It’s about representation at the city council level.”
He added that, “as we move through this process, it’s incredibly important that everyone in this community feels represented.”
On January 11, 2022, the El Monte Council adopted a resolution to begin the process of implementing district elections.
In a 3-2 vote, the Council directed City staff and consultants, the National Demographic Corporation and Elevate Public Affairs, to move forward with public hearings and community outreach to ensure residents are informed about the process and how to participate in it.
With the district elections, City staff said they will ensure that all El Monte residents are fairly and equitably represented.
Council members who supported the motion to move forward with the district elections process included interim mayor Alma Puente, council member Dr. María Morales, and council member Martín Herrera. Mayor Jessica Ancona and Councilwoman Victoria Martínez Muela voted against.
Pursuant to Section 10010 of the Elections Code, the City is required to hold two public hearings to receive comments from the general public on the proposed move to district elections.
With a population of 109,905 residents, city officials said they will conduct a community outreach and encourage all residents to attend one or more of the public hearings to learn about the process, what it means for provide information on how the districts should be drawn.
The first public hearing was held on February 16. The following meetings will be:
• March 1: Public hearing to receive input on the proposal to move to district elections
• March 15: Public hearing to review draft maps
• March 29: Second public hearing to review draft maps
• April 5: Second and final reading of the ordinance approving the transition to districts
Residents are encouraged to visit: ci.el-monte.ca.us/661/City-Council-Election-Districting for more information and to provide feedback.