|On August 3, 2016 the La Mirada City Council was served with a demand letter from MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) stating the city was in violation of the California Voter Rights Act and had to change from an at-large election system to a by-district election system. The district boundaries are depicted above.|
La Mirada~The City Council election will take place on March 7th and over half of the residents will not be able to vote.
Let me try to explain this to you without confusing you more.
Traditionally, La Mirada has used an at-large voting system. Depending how many spots were available, the top vote-getter(s) from all of La Mirada would win the election.
Those days appear to be over.
This past Summer, the Mexican legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF) sent a letter to the city demanding they change their voting system to by-district rather than at-large, alleging all areas of the city have not being represented, citing the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.
Rather than face a legal challenge in which the city could ultimately lose and spend thousands of dollars in the process, La Mirada officials complied with MALDEF”S request and changed their voting system, creating five electoral districts, but still had to pay $30,000 in costs to settle.
It continues to get confusing.
Two incumbents terms are up this March, Andrew Sarega and Pauline Deal.
Choosing from multiple district boundary submissions, the council last year approved a map that has Sarega and Deal in the newly formed District 2.
This created an open spot for District 1, which currently has no council member residing within its boundaries. Competing for that spot are myself, Jim Emmerling, Diane Gramajo and John Lewis.
Only Districts 1 and 2 will be participating this March.
Districts 3, 4 and 5 will have an election in March 2019 when Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Eng, Larry Mowles and Mayor Steve DeRuse’s terms are up.
So, this March 7th, three out of every five La Mirada residents will not be participating in the election.