Just before their Tuesday night regular meeting, the members of the Santa Clarita City Council are slated to discuss expected litigation over the city’s current “at-large” voting system.
The lawsuit, although not yet filed, has been threatened by Scott Rafferty, a northern California-based attorney representing a not-yet-disclosed group of plaintiffs. Invoking the California Voting Rights Act, Rafferty seeks to force the city to switch to a by-district system of voting.
Rafferty, who has sued other cities in the state of California over similar voting systems, contends the current system of voting for the Santa Clarita City Council is unfair to the growing number of minority groups and neighborhoods here locally.
In an interview with The Signal last month, Mayor Bill Miranda said he was open to hearing both sides of the argument, but expressed his support for the at-large system, saying it is more advantageous to individual voters in an at-large system because they are given the opportunity to choose all five council seats, as opposed to one in a single district.
Earlier this month, Carrie Lujan, a spokeswoman for the city, confirmed that the city had hired the law firm of Gibson Dunn, which is representing the city of Santa Monica in its own case at the state Supreme Court level regarding at-large voting and the CVRA.
Although not stipulating a specific amount of time that he would wait to file his litigation, Rafferty told The Signal that he would not be waiting for the Santa Monica case to be decided.
The discussion with the city’s legal counsel is scheduled to take place during the City Council’s closed-session meeting, set to be held an hour before the regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd.
For more information on how to attend Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, or where to view it virtually, visit the City Council’s website at http://santaclaritacityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx.