ACLU SUES CITY OF ANAHEIM FOR SHUTTING LATINOS OUT OF ELECTORAL PROCESS
Concerned residents and community leaders stood outside Anaheim City Hall this afternoon in support of the ACLU of Southern California and Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardarian to sue the city for lack of representation on the Anaheim City Council.
With a population of more than 300,000 and more than 50 percent of residents Latino, the city still holds at-large elections. The makeup of the city council does not reflect the diversity of the city; there is not one Latino sitting council member, violating the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
According to the ACLU statement, the "CVRA states that an at-large election method may not be imposed or applied if it impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or influence the outcome of elections."
According to Mike Baller, partner with Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian, "The remedy to this unlawful process is to create districts. A more representative city council that is responsive to the particular needs of Anaheim's diverse communities will benefit the entire city."
The Orange County Labor Federation, during its last two strategic planning sessions prioritized achieving district based elections where voters can have representation for their neighborhood by electing a local resident who understands the needs of the community.
We hope that the courts will recognize the injustice and create community based council districts that reflect the rich diversity of the great city of Anaheim.
We also hope this gives notice to other jurisdictions that representative democracy is essential in sustaining vibrant communities.