City council to hold fourth by-district public hearing, could adopt maps for 2020 Elk Grove elections

Steve Detrick complained about being forced into by-district elections during the most recent public hearing
on the city's impending switch to by-district voting. | 

During their next meeting on Wednesday, October 23, the Elk Grove City Council will hold the fourth public hearing on a switch to by-district elections. Along with the public hearing, the city will also consider adopting district maps for the 2020 elections.

Although the city council has held three previous hearing on by-district elections, it has done so without the support of a majority of the five members. Four members - Vice Mayor Pat Hume and councilmembers Steve Detrick, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen have steadfastly opposed the move. At the last public hearing on October 9, Detrick said he and his colleague were being bullied and have gun to the head of the four council members into making the switch (see video below).

Detrick was referencing the demand letter sent by attorney Kevin Shenkman on behalf of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, threatening a potentially costly lawsuit against the city's current at-large city council elections. Shenkman, much to the consternation of city's like Palmdale, Calif., has successfully argued at-large systems violate the California Voters Rights Act of 2001, has been the catalyst for Elk Grove's transition.

At the three prior hearings, a broad coalition of residents spoke in favor of the by-dsitrict elections. A minority of residents, who were primarily older white rural voters, oppose by-district elections.     

At the October 9 meeting, a new wrinkle was added in the public hearings with the introduction of proposed district maps along with the current district map for the 2020 election. The new maps, which were drawn by the National Demographics Corporation, were generally viewed to be favorable to the political fortunes of Suen, who has grown unpopular in District 1 because of his advocacy of the controversial California Northstate University proposed hospital, were uniformly criticized by supporters and opponents of by-district.

Immediately after holding the fourth hearing on Wednesday, the councilmembers will consider adopting one of three maps for the 2020 election. One is the current district map; the so-called divided growth map A drawn by NDC, which would remove the Lakeside and Stonelake neighborhoods, where Suen has become unpopular, from District 1; and divided growth map B proposed at the October 9 meeting by Hume (maps below). 

During their last meeting, the city council signaled they were leaning toward maintaining the current district maps for the 2020 election. If they adopt proposed maps A or B, one person has advised the city council they would file a lawsuit against the city. 

Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m.  








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5 comments

Eye on Elk Grove said...
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Eye on Elk Grove said...

As I read this article and watch this council’s comments, I can’t help to think of what the late civil rights icon, Congressman Elijah Cummings, would think of Steve Detrick’s, Pat Hume’s and Darren Suen’s comments regarding by-district voting. And even worse, attempts to break up minority voting blocks.

Well, maybe I do. At one of his last hearings when addressing the acting DHS Director about children at the border living in cages, not getting showers and left to sit in their own feces, Congressman Cummings said very passionately, “C'MON MAN!”

These three elitist Elk Grove City Council members are setting back the civil rights movement here in our own city; mostly likely because they have no idea what it’s like to struggle for justice and equality.

“C'MON MAN!”

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Eye on writes..."These three elitist Elk Grove City Council members are setting back the civil rights movement here in our own city".

Maybe I'm missing something here, but isn't Stephanie 'the woman of few words' Nguyen also included in the no by-District club? Seems to me the two sitting Democrats, Suen and Nguyen have betrayed their Party principles. Let's not give the woman of few words a free pass either, ok.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

DJ. . .You are correct! The Three Amigos are so vocal, dominating most deliberations that I was remiss. One almost forgets, as I did, that Stephanie Nguyen is also aligned with them on the by-district issue giving tacit acceptance procedures a new meaning.

However, Nguyen shouldn’t get a pass here, as you stated, because in her case, in making up “The Gang of Four,” silence means consent.

Spoons and Forks said...

Leave the gun, take the cannoli.

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