Letter From Steve Chessin

Just because Robert Rubin thinks a two-district system of three City

Council members each doesn’t provide a safe harbor from the CVRA doesn’t mean he’s correct.

The plain language of the CVRA is in sections 14025 through 14032 of the Election Code, available at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=ELEC&division=14.&title=&part=&chapter=1.5.

I urge people to read it for themselves.

It defines an “At-large method of election” as one where “the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the governing body,” whether or not the candidates are required to live in districts, or even if some of the members are elected by voters in districts and some are elected by voters of the entire jurisdiction. (Section 14026(a).)

It defines “District-based elections” as those where the elected members “must reside within an election district that is a divisible part of the political subdivision and is elected only by voters residing within that election district.” (Section 14026(b).)

It says a violation can only occur if an at-large method is used.

(Section 14027.) It says nothing about the number of members elected by a district.

Dividing the City into two districts, where only voters living in a district get to elect City Council members who live in that district, complies with the letter of the CVRA. Using a proportional system within those districts complies with the spirit.