Public hearing on city’s district-based elections rescheduled due to COVID-19

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26.
Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Watson/The Signal

The city of Santa Clarita has canceled its first public hearing set for April 21 regarding district-based elections until further notice as a result of the extended quarantine orders through May 15. 

“Due to the extension of the Safer at Home order by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the first planned public hearing date of April 21 will be pushed to a later date, pending further direction from the City Council,” read a notice from the city that was posted on social media. 

As of Friday, there was no date selected for the meeting, according to City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. 

The pending, public hearing is expected to allow the city to collect input from the community about the composition of districts before the City Council can vote on an ordinance that would institutionalize the switch from at-large to district-based elections. 

On March 19, the City Council declared its intention to transition by the November 2020 general election after receiving a letter from Scott Rafferty, a Northern California attorney, arguing that Santa Clarita’s current at-large elections dilute the votes of Latino residents. 

Rafferty’s letter gave the city 45 days, or until March 23 to declares its intent to transition or face litigation. Now with an adopted resolution, the city has additional 90-day protection from litigation and must conduct the public hearings and adopt the ordinance within that period. 

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