City council revisits district municipal elections
Santa Clarita City Council is due to hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss a lawsuit that could put Santa Clarita voters in a position to elect their council members through district-level elections instead of the “at” method. -large ”existing.
The lawsuit, filed by Bay Area attorney Scott Rafferty in February 2020, called on the city to comply with California voting rights law and alleges that elections “in general” dilute the votes of people. Latin American residents.
“I have no doubts that this community, which is a great community, has worked very well with a unique and wonderful population,” said Pro Tem Mayor Laurene Weste. “We will find the best way to serve the kind of community that Santa Clarita is.”
Mayor Bill Miranda did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
State orders issued at the start of the coronavirus pandemic suspended a series of city-organized public hearings, required under state election law, to receive public comment on the districts’ drawing advice.
Before the pandemic, the city council had until June 18, 2020 to hold public hearings according to the security deadlines provided for by the electoral code.
Rafferty said public hearings could take place soon, based on Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 health orders. The California Department of Public Health on Friday released new guidelines removing restrictions on social distancing and capacity limitation for most businesses and activities from June 15.
“I just want to have five really good audiences,” Rafferty told The Signal. “I don’t want to exhaust the audience, but at the same time, I want to make sure it’s done right.”
Jonathan Ahmadi, a resident of Santa Clarita, formed an independent committee last year to draw council district boundaries based on 2010 census data.
“I believe in district level elections. I think they lead to a more representative government. I think this leads to greater accountability of our elected officials, ”said Ahmadi.
The municipal council does not discuss disputes during public sessions of public meetings. Council members’ deliberations on the dispute on Tuesday evening will be held in camera. After a closed session, the city attorney will report on all actions taken by council during this period.
Elected officials serving on the College of the Canyons Board of Trustees and the Santa Clarita Valley School District Boards of Trustees are elected through district elections.
The public can join the special city council meeting – with the exception of the closed-door portion – Tuesday at 5 p.m. at santaclarita.zoom.us/j/97507222622 using passcode 216729 or calling 669-900-9128 and using the same access code.