Anaheim had hoped that a Citizen’s Advisory Committee could help settle the question of local elections. But just 10 days after receiving a reprieve from a judge via a delay in a pending lawsuit, the CAC has indicated that they are unable to render a decision on the largest of their questions. The 10-member committee is split on whether or not the City should adopt a district-based voting system.
The Citizen’s Advisory Committee had been the city council’s answer to mayor Tom Tait’s proposal to replace the existing at-large council elections with district elections. The council had said that such a change should come from the citizens, and turned it over to the residents. Meanwhile, the City completed its redistricting process under an at-large structure and the ACLU filed a lawsuit saying that the lack of districts disenfranchised Latino residents. While 54 percent of the City is Latino, none of the current city council members are Latino and most hail from the same, affluent communities.
The Advisory Committee met over the last seven months to discuss potential reforms, approving some, rejecting others, and eventually reaching a 5-5 split decision on districts. The Committee did approve expanding the number of council members from the current five – however the new number of seven or nine has yet to be agreed upon.
The ACLU lawsuit continues to hold, with officials of that organization saying that further delays to justice effectively denies justice until after the next election cycle. They fear that a July decision would not allow enough time for the City to implement any changes before elections.
Read the full story at the Voice of the OC.