'By District' Legislation Advances in California Assembly, Faces Opposition

May 7, 2015 | A bill that would affect how Elk Grove residents elect their city council members has made legislative advances in the Ca...

May 7, 2015 |

A bill that would affect how Elk Grove residents elect their city council members has made legislative advances in the California Assembly

That legislation, Assembly Bill 278 authored by Assembly Member Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), would compel California general law cities with a population over 100,000 to elect city council members by district, rather than from district. As a general law city, Elk Grove elects its four council members that reside in a specific geographic district, but voted on by the entire populace of registered voters in the city.

If passed and signed into law, Elk Grove City Council Members would be elected on a by-district basis based on its 160,000 population. The election of the mayor would continue to be done on a city-wide basis. 
Assembly Member Roger Hernandez introducing AB 278
on March 17, 2015. 

The bill recently passed the Assembly Local Government Committee by a 5-1 vote with three abstentions, and moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

"AB 278 will empower all communities to elect their own voice, their own advocate, their own council member," Hernandez said. "They can hold him or her accountable and in turn decisions made by the council will more likely represent the needs of all its residents. If not, voters in each district will have the opportunity to elect a new council member that will advocate for them."

Although AB 278 is a priority bill for the California Latino Legislative Caucus and is sponsored by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the California City Clerks has come out in opposition to the legislation. The group opposes the legislation on several grounds including the assertion that implementation would be costly. 

Also opposing the bill is the League of California Cities. This organization has listed the bill as hot and claims it would cost cities between $50,000 and $100,000 to implement. 

Locally, Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) has voiced support of the bill and Assembly Member Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) voted in favor of it as an Assembly Local Government Committee.



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2 comments

Warren Buffett said...

Oh boy, if this goes thru, the Region Builders and BIA are gonna have a heckuva time trying to keep control. At a minimum, it is gonna cost them more money to cover all their bets.

Anonymous said...

Might be a good way to get away from government sold to the highest bidder.

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