City Council Will Consider Ending Citywide Voting Districts

Written by on January 3, 2020

Malibu’s city council faces an enormous decision next Tuesday.

A lawyer with a history of suing cities across the state is suing Malibu …

The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project claims that the City of Malibu discriminates against Latino voters … by holding citywide elections for the city council seats.

They threaten a lawsuit unless the city council divides Malibu into districts … each voting for a separate city council members.

The group’s members are not disclosed … and there are no Malibu residents named as complaining parties.

A Malibu lawyer named Kevin Schenkman has filed similar lawsuits against municipalities all across California … in almost every case winning district voting.

In Santa Monica … for example … they have won a court order that will implement district voting for city council there ….

And that decision will significantly increase the chances of a Latino being elected to the Santa Monica City Council … possibly school board member Oscar de la Torre … who sits on the Santa Monica Malibu School board.

Back in Malibu … some residents are saying it would be a good idea to ensure that one city council member comes from each part of town.

But in Malibu … would that increase the number of Latino voices on the city council???

There is no area where there is a concentration of Latinos in any one part of our city … unlike Santa Monica.

And malibu’s census figures show about 6 to 8 percent Latino names on the voter rolls … again … scattered across the city.

Mayor Karen Farrer has called a City Council meeting for next Tuesday afternoon at 4.

And the city has announced plans to have a city council consultation with its lawyer … behind closed doors.

State law allows such discussions … about pending lawsuits … behind closed doors.

But it does not require that such deliberations be held in secret.

Members of the public will be allowed to speak publicly … to give their opinions … before the executive members only discussion.

But the talk with the lawyer is secret.  … the city council will

The special meeting is set to convene at 4 p.m. next Tuesday.

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