'By District' Legislation That Would Affect Elk Grove City Council Elections Advances

Assemblymember Roger Hernandez urges his colleagues  to support of "by district" city council elections.  June 4, 2015 | ...

Assemblymember Roger Hernandez urges his colleagues
 to support of "by district" city council elections. 
June 4, 2015 |

Legislation that would change how several cities in the state elect their city council's was approved by the California Assembly and is moving on the Senate.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 278 authored by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D - West Covina), would require all California cities with over 100,000 in population to elect city council members on a "by district" basis. Elk Grove, which has a population of 160,000, has elected council members on an at-large "from-district" basis since its incorporation in 2000.

The vote passed by a 43-32 margin with area Assemblymembers Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove), Ken Cooley (D- Rancho Cordova) and Kevin McCarty (D -Sacramento) all voting in favor. Cooper, Cooley and McCarty all served as council members in their respective cities before being elected to the Assembly.

"AB 278 empowers all communities to elect their own voice, their own advocate, their own council member,” Hernández said. “In turn decisions made by the council will more likely represent the needs of all its residents.”

If  the bill passes the Senate and signed into law, it would affect how Elk Grove City Council Members are elected as early. Although the Elk Grove City Council discussed changing to a "by-district" system earlier this year, since that time the matter has not resurfaced. 

The bill is being supported by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and is listed as one of their 2015 legislative priorities. The bill is opposed by the California League of Cities and the City Clerks Association of California

The bill is currently awaiting committee assignment in the Senate. 



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1 comment

Thomas A. Anderson said...

If Mr. Hernandez' bill is signed into law, it would partially make for a more even playing field in Elk Grove. It could encourage under-funded, but well qualified candidates to run. It is unfortunate that the our current city council lacks the courage make these changes on their own. Nevertheless, citizens need to wrest control from the establishment in this and other cities in California by any means necessary.

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