As a long-time Hispanic resident of Canyon Country and a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in top-tier multinational corporations, I condemn the creation of racially based voting districts for City Council elections in Santa Clarita. The proposed creation of racially based voting districts in our city is an abhorrent and destructive proposition that undermines the very principles of our democratic system, and would have catastrophic consequences for our community. Not only would it perpetuate division and exacerbate racial tensions, but it would also lead to a “tyranny of the majority,” violating both the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
First, when political boundaries are based on race, it can lead to identity politics, where candidates and voters are judged solely by their skin color or ethnicity, rather than their qualifications or ideas. This can lead to the neglect of issues that affect the larger community, and exacerbate the very inequalities that these districts are supposed to address.
Moreover, the creation of racially based districts in the City Council elections, which would segregate one small section of Canyon Country based on race and income and merge it with Newhall, which is 8 miles away, would be a grave mistake with long-lasting consequences. The proposed action would establish a political ghetto, marked by isolation, economic deprivation and limited opportunities. The entire community would feel the repercussions of such segregation, as it would disconnect the impacted individuals and families from their social and economic networks within the community, the resources that contribute to their well-being, and the political power necessary to influence decisions that impact their lives.
Without a doubt to ensure equal representation for all communities, we must prioritize at-large voting, voter education and outreach, and fair representation systems such as multi-winner ranked-choice voting or cumulative voting. By implementing ranked-choice voting, language assistance, and other measures, we can ensure that all eligible voters can participate in the election process and that elected officials represent the views of a wider range of constituents. It is essential to reject policies that perpetuate segregation and discrimination, and promote inclusive policies that uphold the principles of democracy and equal representation.
By the same token, rather than promoting greater equality and inclusion for all, creating racially based voting districts could lead to further fragmentation and division. Let’s instead prioritize alternative policies and practices that expand voter education and turnout efforts, implement fair practices that consider community interests rather than race, and increase representation and leadership opportunities for marginalized communities. By doing so, Santa Clarita can promote greater equality, inclusion and community cohesion, while avoiding the potential negative consequences of racially based voting districts.
On the whole, it is absolutely imperative that the citizens and government of the city of Santa Clarita uphold the fundamental tenets of fairness, equality and democratic values by immediately rejecting the creation of racially based voting districts. This proposal would serve only to satisfy racial quotas and would carve up our community into fragmented, isolated enclaves. The consequences of implementing such a harmful proposal would be disastrous and alternative solutions should be actively pursued. The citizens and government of the city of Santa Clarita must prioritize inclusive policies that promote fairness and equality for all residents, rather than segregating and dividing them.