Asked For Stance on Elk Grove Elections Controversy, Assemblymember Jim Cooper Remains Mute

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (center) with four current and two past members of the
Elk Grove City Council. | 
April 15, 2018 | 

Even though a super-majority of the Elk Grove City Council has dug in their heels in opposition to by-district, the issue will probably linger for several years to come. It was in this context that the topic came up at the Tuesday, April 10 meeting of the Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club meeting.

This purpose of this meeting was for club members to vote on endorsements for the June primary. Among those attending the session and giving offering a candidate presentation was Skyler Wonnacott, speaking on behalf of 9th district Assemblymember Jim Cooper, who is being challenged by Harry He. 

During a question and answer segment, Wonnacott was asked about Copper's position on by-district voting in Elk Grove. Wonnacott replied to the query noting legislation sponsored by Copper and signed into law in 2016 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

That legislation, Assembly Bill 2220, allows California cities with a population of 100,000 or more to switch to a by-district form of representation by a vote of a city council. In a by-district system, representatives are elected by voters in a geographically defined area, while Elk Grove's current from-district requires a citywide vote.

While Wonnacott said Cooper sponsored the legislation which the Elk Grove City Council could now act on, the person asking the question, club member, and Elk Grove resident Connie Conley pressed for a more definitive statement from Cooper. Specifically, Conley asked Wonnacott if Cooper would be willing to support citizens, the South-County Elk Grove Democratic club and a wide variety of civil and voting rights groups to switch to by-district voting.

Wonnacott said he did not want to speak on behalf of the Assemblymember, but that he would inquire with Cooper and Conley would receive an email response. A recording of the Conley-Wonnacott exchange can be heard below.

According to Conley, as of the posting of this story she has not received a response from Wonnacott, Cooper, or any of his staff. Additionally, EGN emailed Wonnacott last week seeking comment from Cooper and have not received a reply as of this posting.

Conley, who said she has known and worked with Cooper numerous times during his 14 years on the Elk Grove City Council was disappointed the Assemblymember, nor any of his staff has offered an answer to her query.  She also noted Wonnacott promised an answer to her question in front a large group of Democratic Party members.

"I have known Cooper for over 16 years, supported him, worked with him on many ordinances, proposals and town hall meetings for Elk Grove," Conley said. "I don’t think it is too much to ask for a response whether or not he supports by-district voting for Elk Grove; legislation he personally authored and stood strongly behind before his colleagues in the California State Legislature."

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

To expect a straight answer from a politician without them first checking in with their lobbyists is like waiting for the tooth fairy to place a bundle of cash at their back door. Oh, wait, maybe we will get an answer!

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