San Luis Obispo against shift to district voting

December 6, 2019

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo has become the latest local city to receive a legal threat that may require it to switch to a by-district voting system for electing council members.

On Nov. 13, SLO received a letter threatening a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act if it does not switch from an at-large electoral system to by-district voting. City officials want to negotiate the city’s way out of making the shift.

Statewide, dozens of cities have received similar demand letters. Locally, Paso Robles, Grover Beach and Santa Maria have responded to the legal threats by opting to shift to by-district voting. Arroyo Grande also initiated the process.

Lawyers have argued that cities have racially polarized voting, a pattern in which different racial groups support opposing candidates. Attorneys’ argue cities must shift to by-district voting to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

By law, cities have a 45-day period in which they can weigh different options and respond to the demand letter without being sued. On Thursday, SLO announced it negotiated an extension of the 45-day period from Jan. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2020.

City Attorney Christine Dietrick responded to the demand letter by stating SLO intends to analyze the factual basis of the claim and pursue talks about alternative paths to resolution that could achieve even greater diversity and inclusion in city elections than by-district voting.

Dietrick also said the demand letter overstated minority influence in local elections, undermining the potential plaintiff’s conclusions, the city press release states.


Loading...

18
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
UnReasoned

The headline reads “San Luis Obispo against shift to district voting” but after the reading the article the city never takes this position.


On the calcoasttimes website the headline reads “Lawsuit threat pressures SLO to shift to district voting,” which is actually true. It appears that you all are being pandered to.


Humperdinck

So, rather than succumbing and complying with the Act, Dietrick and council want to game it and waste $ to come up with something better to secure their cronies future positions?

After the twin towers collapse most large organizations were compelled to institute Diversity and Inclusion Training as an intervention to not prejudge people with Arabic features. I remember that initial training 15+ years ago and its sole focus was on religious, sexual preference, disability, political and racial/ethnic tolerance. In fact, it soon became mandatory to rate employees on their tolerance and promotion of diversity and inclusion. Somewhere the progressives high-jacked Diversity and Inclusion into a tool for ethnic quotas. This is certainly exhibited by CalPoly as a microcosm by seeking a more ethic blend of students. This makes me speculate that SLO progressives are projecting their own biased view that the straight white spiritual minority in CA can’t or won’t respect, empathize and tolerate tribalism issues. I expect my city and county representatives to maintain the infrastructure, be fiscally responsible, promote safety and economic prosperity. Instead their #1 issue seems to be climate change, which is outside of their control. In 1976 through 1978 I took architecture and computer science, with Weird Al in some of my classes at CalPoly. We were proud to be nerds, but IMO this “revenge of the nerds” thing has really gone too far. What am I missing?