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Carson City Council Approves Districts - 08/04/2020


ISSUE:

District Elections in City of Carson are ENACTED for November 2020 election.


FACTS:

Kevin Shenkman, attorney for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project ("SVREP"), filed suit against the City of Carson on September 11, 2019. The SVREP alleges violations of the California Voting Rights Act, and seeks to force the City of Carson into district elections.


In response to the suit, the City of Carson began an extensive process to consider district maps. In 2020, the SVREP sought to halt the election of the two council members set for 2020 (Jawane Hilton and Cedric Hicks; NOTE - Lula Davis-Holmes and Jim Dear's terms expire in 2022). A hearing was scheduled by the Court on this issue for July 29, 2020.


In response to the looming July 29, 2020 hearing, the Carson City Council approved a district map for Carson on July 21, 2020. This map would become effective after ratification in the Carson City Council Meeting on August 4, 2020 (THIS VIDEO). Both votes were 3-2 with Mayor Robles, Jim Dear, and Jawane Hilton in favor of districts, and Lula Davis-Holmes and Cedric Hicks opposed. Upon adoption on August 4, 2020, by the Carson City Council, district elections became immediately effective for the November 2020 election, with Districts 1 and 3 voting in 2020 and Districts 2 and 4 votings in 2022.


The Carson Municipal Ordinance is 20-2008 and can be found here: http://ci.carson.ca.us/content/files/...


The Final District Map can be found here: http://ci.carson.ca.us/content/files/...


SOURCES:

The full video of the Carson City Council's August 4, 2020 meeting can be found here: http://carson.granicus.com/MediaPlaye.... This issue is item #14 and begins at 38:08 mark.


The full video of the Carson City Council's July 21, 2020 meeting can be found here: http://carson.granicus.com/MediaPlaye.... This issue is item #16 and begins at 4:29:29 mark.


Details on the SVREP vs. Carson City Council can be found at: https://www.dailybreeze.com/2019/09/1.... The suit was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles - Case No.: 19STCV32291 in Department 36 (Stanley Mosk).


THE LATEST:

At the August 18, 2020, Carson City Council meeting, Jim Dear requested that Ordinance No. 20-2008 be added to the September 1, 2020, regular Carson City Council meeting. A vote of reconsideration requires four affirmative votes. Those approving reconsiderations were: Jim Dear, Jawane Hilton, Lula Davis-Holmes, and Cedric Hicks. Albert Robles voted against reconsideration.


The reconsideration is Item #16 on the Carson City Council agenda for September 1, 2020. The staff report can be found on the City of Carson website. The staff reports conclude: "A vote on September 1 would not change the conduct of the Carson municipal election from by-district to at-large, since that deadline would have passed, nor would it be possible to change because the ballots would be printed, which would feature the candidates for each respective Council District."

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