Palmdale, Ca.- In another lawsuit to decide “at-large voting vs district elections,” the City of Palmdale’s case will go to trial in May. This lawsuit argues without the district method, the city is keeping black and Hispanic residents off the City Council by diluting their voting power.
According to California City News, the Mayor of Lancaster , R. Rex Parris, has signed on as co-counsel on this voting rights lawsuit against the neighbor city. Parris grew up in Palmdale and has a high school named after him.
“Parris commented, “The effects of the City of Palmdale’s at-large method of election are apparent and compelling. Despite a Latino population of approximately 54.4% and an African American population of 14.8% in the City of Palmdale, only one Latino and not a single African American has ever been elected to Palmdale’s City Council. Consistently, the candidates of choice of Latino and African American voters have been defeated because they fail to draw support from Palmdale’s politically cohesive White voters. The current absence of any Latinos or African Americans on the Palmdale City Council reveals a lack of access to the political process.” link
Contra Costa Times writes:
“The lawsuit, filed last April by Palmdale resident Juan Jauregui, is scheduled for trial in May. It alleges Palmdale violated the California Voting Rights Act by using an election format that dilutes the influence of minority voters.
The law has been used to sue several cities since it was adopted in 2002. One was Modesto, which switched to district voting as a result.” See more here.
Also: Compton faced a lawsuit and a resolution was put in place switching methods for the first time during this spring’s election.
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