Let’s be honest. None of us liked to be tricked, particularly if it has a harmful result.
You are about to be tricked, and it is not good news.
Santa Clara City Council’s majority has spent a great deal of taxpayer money attempting to convince you that something is good, when in fact it is bad.
This, of course, is Measure C, which is designed to reduce Santa Clara voting districts from the current six to just three.
You may recall this Council ignored two warning letters from attorney Robert Rubin regarding Santa Clara Council’s failure to engage in a process to create voting districts. The result of this Council’s unwillingness to act and create districts has already cost Santa Clara taxpayers about $4 million, and there is no end in sight because of the City’s appeal in court.
The appeal has the same chance of being repealed as a snowball has of surviving in a hot place.
If Santa Clara does pass Measure C, it would no doubt end up in the courts again, with another price tag higher than an Elan Musk space rocket.
This probability is not mentioned by Measure C advocates.
Rubin has successfully sued and won every California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) lawsuit he has filed.
As a result of his lawsuit against Santa Clara, the court ordered the formation of six voting districts through 2020.
During this election year, voters will get to decide if they wish to keep the six districts temporarily. Measure C is designed to reduce the six districts to only three in the next election.
At the heart of the CVRA ruling is equal opportunity for communities to be equally represented and to create equal opportunity for minority representation.
While Santa Clara has a minority population of nearly 60%, it has never had a minority representative on Santa Clara City Council.
This was true until Raj Chahal was elected in 2018 under the six-district court ordered requirement.
Chahal walked his district, personally met and talked with voters and won handily. Smaller districts work.
The only reason to reduce the number of districts from six to three it seems is to consolidate the Mayor’s power in her current Council supporters and get them reelected.
Three districts do not provide wider representation. It does not provide greater opportunity to all members of the Santa Clara community. It will not guarantee the election of neighborhood supported candidates.
So, this is the trick. Send out a glossy brochure showing the City Seal and a message endorsing three voting districts and why it would be good for Santa Clara.
Only problem, it’s not true. It would only be good for those already in office. Three of which live within a few blocks of each other.
Fewer districts do not offer better representation. It is a sneaky way of eliminating competition and reducing opportunity for Santa Clara communities to be represented. Oh…and keeping control in the hands of the familiar few.
Don’t be tricked. Vote no on Measure C.