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Pleasanton could pursue district-based council elections after attorney threatens to sue city alleging 'racially polarized' voting

Original post made on Sep 21, 2021

A hefty Pleasanton City Council meeting agenda on Tuesday night includes a proposal to transition to district-based elections, plus revisions to housing cycle and downtown active ground floor use policies.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 20, 2021, 10:24 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Sep 21, 2021 at 9:25 am

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

District-based voting is still geographical in nature and doesn't necessarily produce the expected outcome because the single vote per seat would remain non-proportional. It's extremely sensitive to how the districts are defined, which voters will have no control over.

Better proportional representation, which appears to be the actual goal, can be achieved on an election like this through ranked choice voting.

Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 21, 2021 at 10:52 am

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

Threatened with litigation about inequality from a law firm based in Malibu. Malibu is 88% white, less than 4% Asian and 1.5% Black. Household income in Malibu is $161,276 - 50.1% greater than the median annual income of $80,440 for California.

The Zarina Kiziloglu example is ludicrous. Pleasanton is 34% Asian yet Ms. Kiziloglu received only 8.65% of the total vote despite "significant support from the Asian community."

The CVRA and the threatened lawsuit against Pleasanton epitomize how broken CA government has become. $80K to the lawyers and demographers if the City simply rolls over. Much more if we don't. Spurious examples of inequality in Pleasanton. Factual inequality in Malibu.

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Posted by Guillermo M.
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 21, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Guillermo M. is a registered user.

“Bay Area Native” could not have stated it any better. Why on Earth wound a radical, racist front group masquerading as a “law firm” from lily white Malibu Beach be concerned with certain municipalities that are not adhering to an obscure 20+ year old zoning ordinance if they themselves were not actively attempting to redraw electoral districts and gerrymander to their liking. As a member of an “oppressed minority” neither I nor any of our family has ever based our voting preferences solely on a candidate that is “Latino/Hispanic” or of any other racial group. It saddens me when there are those who choose to speak for others & misrepresent us as being oppressed, or incapable of making decisions without their help.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 21, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I agree with with Bay Area Native and Guillermo M.

It has never occurred to me that I am or have been oppressed.

I consider myself to be as much of everything as everyone else on this earth.

My Mothers side of our family are direct descendent of Chief War Eagle.

My first Cousin Tony Rivers (Hoksila Isnala) was Chief (chairman) of the Great Sioux Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe 1958-1962.

Posted by Joe V
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 21, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Joe V is a registered user.

The Council must of been aware of this law, that is nearly impossible to argue against, and failed to act on it, before this threat of a lawsuit. The article even mentions other tri-valley cities were already compliant.

Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 21, 2021 at 3:46 pm

keeknlinda is a registered user.

I don't believe the law says a city is required to have district elections rather than at large. Our demographics don't appear to warrant the actions of a greedy attorney who has found a way to make lots of bucks. Nobody stopped these candidates from running, they were invited to all the events just as the rest were. If people didn't vote for them, it may have been because the majority of voters didn't feel they were ready for the job. Experience still is of some value to some of us, you know.

Posted by PLSN Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2021 at 3:30 pm

PLSN Resident is a registered user.

This approach also assumes that people have moved into racially-segregated communities. And is that the desired outcome here?!?! Is there a “Chinese,” “Indian,” or “Hispanic” part of Pleasanton where they would be gerrymandering to a specific vote based on the assumption (as debunked above) that people only vote by the race of the candidate? And what if said candidates still don’t win? Maybe it’s just the merits of the candidates like it should be. This is fundamentally asinine.

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