Communities of Interest

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Update as of October 2021

After a robust community outreach initiative, the City Council selected Map 3b as San Mateo's new district elections map. The information below was shared with the community to gather public input. At this time, community of interest testimony is no longer being collected. Visit the related documents page to review public submissions.


The San Mateo City Council has begun the process of transitioning to district elections. U.S. Census data was used to balance the population of each San Mateo City Council District.

One of the primary goals of this process was to keep communities together within each district. That’s why it was so important to hear from you! Residents were encouraged to fill out this form or use this map to tell the City Council about your community of interest – so it can be preserved in the new district lines.

How You Can Participate in the Process

  1. Use our online Communities of Interest form to provide comments 
  2. Complete the pdf version of the COI form (English, SpanishChinese) or COI Map (English) and return it by email to or return it by mail to City Clerk Patrice Olds, 330 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403.
  3. Attend one of the City's Public Hearings and Community Workshops on districting.

What is a Community of Interest?

A Community of Interest, as defined by Article 21 Section 2d(4) of the California Constitution is a group of people that share common social or economic interests, live in a geographically definable area, and should be included within a single district for purposes of effective and fair representation in future City Council elections.

Some COIs are considered "protected classes" in that they have rights through State or Federal civil rights or voting rights laws. Some examples of protected classes in districting include Latinx, Asian, or Black individuals.

There are other potential COIs that can also be considered in districting. Examples include but are not limited to: people who live in a particular neighborhood; groups with cultural, religious or historical bonds; people who share concerns such as environmental hazards, transportation interests, renters or homeowners, etc. 

COI does not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

What criteria will help the City Council understand the importance of your community in the districting process?

When documenting your community, it is important to outline the following topics to assist the City Council in the districting process:

  • The shared culture, characteristics, or bonds of your community.
  • The distinguishable geographic boundaries of your community and the number of people living in your area.
  • Your community’s relationship with the City and how it is affected by policy decisions made by the City Council. 

The public can submit any feedback, but it is important to remember that your input can be best used if it addresses all three of these topics.