Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create an account?

  1. To create a new account, click the “Sign up here” link on the login screen
  2. Fill out the first name, last name, email, username, and password fields in the form.
  3. Check your inbox for an email with the subject “Verify Your Account” from no-reply@drawmycacommunity.org. If you do not see a verification email, check your spam and promotions folders.
  4. Follow the instructions in this email to verify your email address through the provided link.
  5. Once your account is verified, you will be able to save drafts of your work and review any community input that you have already submitted to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

I don’t see my account verification email - what should I do?

The account verification email from Draw My CA Community can end up in the spam, promotions, or other folders in your email account. Please check to see if the verification email arrived in any folders outside of your primary inbox. You can also try searching your email account for "no-reply@drawmycacommunity.org." to find the verification email.

What is the difference between logging in and using the site as a guest?

Creating an account on Draw My CA Community enables you to save your community input as a draft to come back to later. Additionally, you will receive an email notification once you have made a submission.


While you may still create and submit community input in Draw My CA Community as a guest user, you will not be able to save your work as a draft.

Can I use Draw My CA Community on my smartphone or tablet?

Yes, Draw My CA Community works on mobile devices. If possible, we recommend that you use a computer for ease in navigating, viewing detail, and interacting with the map.

What web browser should I use to work with Draw My CA Community?

You can use Draw My CA Community on any standard web browser. We recommend using Chrome for optimal performance.

Where can I learn more about California’s redistricting?

Please visit https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/ to learn more about the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and California’s statewide redistricting process.

Can I provide input to the Commission without drawing a map?

Draw My CA Community requires that you draw a map in order to submit your input. However, Draw My CA Community is not the only way you can share your input with the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. You can email your input to the Commission at votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov. The Commission will take all input into account during the line drawing process, regardless of how they received the input.

How can I change the language I’m using the site in?

You can change the language you are working in at any time. On the Welcome Page, you can change the language by clicking the “Languages” menu in the top left corner of the window.

Change the language using the site

Once you’ve begun working, you can also change the language from the main page of Draw My CA Community by clicking the “Languages” menu at the top left corner of the screen and selecting your desired language from the drop-down menu.

Change the language using the site

How should I describe my community?

Try to describe your community in a way that helps the Commission understand who is part of your community and what is important to you.


The Commission needs to know three key things from you about your community:

  • The economic and social interests that bind your community together.
  • Why your community should be kept together for fair and effective representation.
  • Where your community is located.

If you are still having trouble describing your community, we recommend that you think about the following questions:

  • What is different about my community compared to nearby areas?
  • What is important to my community that is less important to people who do not live in my community?

While your community can be based on nearly any shared interest, your community cannot be defined by its relationship to any political party, candidate, or incumbent.


For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic.

What is a Drawing Layer?

Draw My CA Community works with five Drawing Layers. Each layer shows a different level of detail in the shapes that make up the layer. The Drawing Layer that is displayed on the map at any given time is the layer you can use to draw the location of your community by using the drawing tools. Only one Drawing Layer will appear on the map at a time, and you can see which is currently visible in the Drawing Layer section under “Draw Your Community.”

what is drawing layer

For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic

How do I choose a Drawing Layer?

By default, the map will automatically switch between different Drawing Layers based on your zoom level. As you zoom into the map, the Drawing Layer will automatically change to show more detail. As you zoom out of the map, the Drawing Layer will change to show less detail.


If you want to use a specific Drawing Layer but that Drawing Layer does not appear on the map by default based on your zoom level, click the Choose Drawing Layer drop-down list below the Drawing Layer label. Choose the layer you want to work with. Now you can work with the layer of your choice in a zoom level that works for you.

choose drawing layer

For example, if the Drawing Layer is displaying cities and towns and you want to add a county to your map, but don’t want to zoom out of your current view, you can choose “Counties” from the Choose Drawing Layer drop-down list instead of zooming out of the map. Once you choose “Counties” as your Drawing Layer, you will be able to add a county to your map.


To switch back to having the zoom level automatically control the Drawing Layer, click "Default" in the Drawing Layer drop-down list.


For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic

How do I use the Drawing Tools to create a map?

  • Add by Clicking: To add area to your community map, click individual shapes in the Drawing Layer.
  • Add by Clicking
  • Add by Rectangle: Click and drag across the map.
  • Add by Rectangle
  • Add by Freehand: Click and freehand draw any shape on the map. Avoid drawing in a way that creates more than one shape, such as a figure-8.
  • Add by Freehand
  • Remove Area: To remove area from your map, either click individual shapes or click and drag across an area.
  • Remove Area
  • Undo/Redo: Undo or redo recent changes to your map.
  • Undo/Redo

For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic

What if I start working on my community input as a guest user, but later want to save my work as a draft?

If you start using Draw My CA Community as a guest and decide you would like to save your work, you can create an account and log in after you’ve started drawing your community. Click “Save” and then follow the instructions to create an account.

How do I save a draft?

In order to save a draft, you must be logged in to your account. If you are using Draw My CA Community as a guest, you will be prompted to log in or create an account when you attempt to save your work.

  1. At any point during map editing, click the “Save” button located at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  2. Save your community
  3. Click “Yes, Save Draft” to save your work.
  4. A confirmation modal will pop up when the save is complete.
  5. You will be taken to the “My Maps” page and your draft will appear in the “Drafts” section.

For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic

How do I edit a draft?

After logging in or saving a draft, you will be taken to the “My Maps” page, where you will find a list of all your saved drafts and submissions. When you click on a draft or submission, the map of that community will appear on the screen. To edit a draft, click the three dots next to the name of the draft. Choose “Edit” to keep working on your community.

edit a draft

Can I edit my community input after submitting it?

Once your community input has been submitted to the Commission, it cannot be changed.

How do I submit my community input to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission?

When you are ready to send your community description and map to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, click the “Submit” button located in the bottom left corner of the screen. You will have one last chance to review your work before it is sent to the Commission.

Note: Once community input is submitted to the commission, this action cannot be undone. You will not be able to further edit your community description and map.

Submit your community

For additional help, check out our video tutorial on this topic

What happens to my input once it’s submitted?

Your input will be sent directly to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Commission will review your community description and map and will try to keep your community whole to the extent possible when creating new districts.


Learn more about California’s redistricting process here

Will my community input be made public after I submit it?

All input submitted to the Commission becomes a part of the public record. Your personal information will not be made public or shared with anyone else.

Can I use Draw My CA Community to create input I want to submit to a local redistricting process?

Draw My CA Community can be used to create input for any jurisdiction in California. However, Draw My CA Community can only be used to directly submit input to California’s statewide redistricting process.

You can use this tool to create a community description and map to submit to a different redistricting process, such as the redrawing of your local city council districts. Before you do, please check whether they have their own community input creation tool available. If you’re using Draw My CA Community to create input for a local redistricting process, please follow these steps:

  • Fill out the prompts in the “Describe your community” section. Please note that your local redistricting effort may ask for different information than is requested by these prompts.
  • Create a map of your community.
  • Click “Save.” If you are using Draw My CA Community as a guest, you will be prompted to log in or create an account. You will then be navigated to the My Maps page.
  • Click the Menu in the top right corner of the screen, and select “Export.”
  • Download the files associated with your input and submit those files to your local redistricting process.
  • The downloaded files are contained in a zip folder, and include a PDF of your submitted map, as well as GIS files that can be imported into a GIS software of your choice.

Documentation

  • User guide

About

  • Statewide Database
  • California Citizens Redistricting Commission

FAQs