Resolution Supporting Both a District-Based Voting System and Moving City Elections from April to November in the City of Whittier

Whereas, at-large voting systems in the United States have historically been used to disenfranchise voters based on race or ethnicity, after both Reconstruction in the late 1800s and after federal passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964; the California Voting Rights Act of 2002 protects minority voters from disenfranchisement and ensures that votes of minorities in local election jurisdictions are not diluted by at-large voting systems; and

Whereas, Whittier, a minority-majority city where Latinos account for 66% of the population, in the 115-year history of the City, which was incorporated in 1898, only one Latino has been elected to the Whittier City Council; and

Whereas, a lawsuit has been filed by Whittier citizens charging the city’s at-large voting system violates the California voter rights act, and calling changes ensuring that minority voters are fairly represented and that these voters are afforded the opportunity to elect representatives of their choice to their local governments;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party supports the following changes:
1) Whittier City Council elections change from at-large voting to representation by districts, where the candidates must reside in the district and only registered voters in that district can vote for the candidates, and
2) Move City Council elections from April in even numbered years to the Tuesday after first Monday in November of even numbered years in accord with state and federal elections, and
3) Create City Council district lines with input from the community; and

Therefore be it further resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party support all efforts to protect minority voting rights and uphold the principles of equal representation in the City of Whittier.

Author: Angie Medina, 57th AD

Passed by LACDP Resolution Committee

Passed by LACDP 1/14/14

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