What Does Elk Grove Currently Have in Common With 69 Other Cities? Call it Elk Grove's 88 Percent

September 18, 2014 | A report on the state of elected women in California politics was recently issued and it contains an interesting p...

September 18, 2014 |

A report on the state of elected women in California politics was recently issued and it contains an interesting perspective of the role gender plays in the make-up of office holders.  

The study, issued by Leadership California Institute, sliced and diced  information on the number of women holding elected office in California. For anyone with even a passing interest in the state of California politics, the report is worth examining.  
The face of the Elk Grove City Council will change 
substantially several weeks from now.

There was a finding that showed Elk Grove shares a commonality with a minority of other California cities. Elk Grove is one of 69 out of California 468 cities, or about 15-percent, that have all male city councils.

In Elk Grove's history there has only been one out of of nine, or about 11-percent of current and past council members who was a female. Furthermore, 77-percent of this same group has been white males.  

One of the report's findings notes "California’s local governments lack ethnic diversity among their elected officials. Efforts to elect women to public office should consider simultaneous efforts increase the ethnic diversity of our elected officials."

Given Elk Grove's well noted diverse population, it is worth contemplating how long it will take for the Elk Grove City Council to reflect the face of its residents. Depending on the outcome of the District 4 race, the percentage of the women council members who have served the city could increase to 20-percent.

Furthermore, if Vice Mayor Jim Cooper wins his Assembly race, there will be another vacancy on the council. If the city council tries to fill the vacancy by appointment, will there be pressure to fill it with a person who more accurately mirrors Elk Grove's ethnic diversity?  

Regardless of the outcome of the District 4 race, the 77-percent will drop for certain. Change, of sorts, is underway.    

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10 comments

Anonymous said...

Would you buy a used car from these guys?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, for most of us under 40 years old we don't care. Black, white, brown, male, or female we just want elected officials that look out for the best interest of our city. Not just short term but long term. For those who were in HS in the 90’s just about every elected student body representative was a female. Race and gender baiting is so 60’s era.

That being said I’m all for some new blood on this council.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what anonymous 10:11 stated. Diversity would be nice but who is the best candidates should be determined by their position on the issues, leadership qualities, sound judgement and common sense, and isn't beholden to personal gain or donors or the party the are affiliated with.

I would welcome and vote for any candidate regardless of the color of their skin or what gender they are if they met those qualifications

As a white male resident of Elk Grove, I can attest that just because our council is made up of 5 white guys, doesn't mean they're representing my desires and wishes for our city.

Connie Conley said...

There is some truth to this and it was evident in Election 2008. Jim Cooper was up for reelection against LaWanna Montgomery. Jim had the money and was able to flood our mailboxes with flyers. LaWanna, on the other hand, had no money and basically was campaigning on her own, putting out a few signs here and there. LaWanna made a good showing at the ballot box in that she came very close to winning. Since she wasn't able to reach many households, one can make an argument that voters saw a women’s name on the ballot and voted for her.

The same was true in 2004 when Mary Addie only lost to incumbent Michael Leary by a few thousand votes. Mary spent only $5,000, had a small team, while Leary spent nearly $100,000 and had immense developer backing.

Also an argument could be that people will vote for anyone but the incumbent.

But it also tells me that women do vote for women since women make up half of the voters in Elk Grove. And when you have a very qualified woman candidate who is out there with a strong ground campaign, very knowledgeable on the issues, is intelligent and has immense community support that not only women, but men, will vote for that strong woman candidate, not only because she is a woman, but because she is the best person for the job!

SteveB6509 said...

I'm happy for the under-40 who called out the race- and gender-bating here. Let's have the best person for the job. Let's also remember that one of our longest City Councillors was a Hispanic woman.

Connie - yes, Cooper had the money, but remember, LaWanna was a bit off her rocker. Wasn't she arrested for pulling down Cooper's campaign signs? Even if she was the best candidate, anyone with those ethics doesn't get my vote! We are lucky she is not on the Council.

Anonymous said...

Using the term race baiting is a red herring of sorts.

For those under 40, have you ever heard the term The Bradley Effect?
Without going into a lengthy explanation, Google it and maybe you will understand things a bit more.
The Bradley effect is alive and well.

Connie said...

Hi Steve,

No, LaWanna was named as a possible suspect in the 2012 mayoral race for alleging defacing Sophia Scherman’s signs when she was also running for Mayor of Elk Grove. Signs, by the way, that were determined to be illegal, and had to be removed. Therefore, in my opinion, why not get some publicity for your illegal signs that you have to replace; which Sophia certainly did.

DA Jan Scully did not file any charges against LaWanna as she, along with other names, were thrown out there as possible suspects, people who happened to be not supporting Sophia but strongly supporting other candidates.

The same was true of those bogus anthrax letters that Sophia and others received years ago. Throwing out names of others like that, without proof, can ruin people's lives.

Anonymous said...

as it relates to the picture above: L to R: Mr. Haney, Fred Ziffell, Hank Kimball, Eb Dawson and Sam Drucker.

Not pictured: city manager, Ralph Monroe (of Ralph and Alf fame).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Connie's post from 11:34 is describing the Bradley Effect in so much as people vote for women only because they are women. That's not any better. I may end up voting for Nancy but it won't be because she's a woman.

Anonymous said...

Then again, I might NOT vote for Nancy, but not because she's a woman.

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