Diane Zimmerman | Racial Gerrymandering in SCV

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

If you pay any attention at all to news other than the mainstream news and out-of-town radio stations, you are no doubt aware of the mounting tension over the City Council’s — against their better judgment? — possibly approving the city of Santa Clarita being switched from “at large” to “district” voting in the 2024 election. How convenient!

Most of you know — really look in to it if you don’t — that district voting means you can only vote for the person(s) running in your “dictated” district. Meaning that if you really like candidates and the promises they are running on you can only vote for the ones in your district, even if you find the candidates in your district to be lacking in what it takes to represent you and those in your district. 

Now, the district map that, after many revisions offered, the City Council is  pondering over approving, or having to go back to court, appears to be a district map that shouts out “gerrymandering” to a huge degree. The thing that concerns yours truly and many others is that you may not realize what the word “gerrymandering” actually means. I have looked up and am quoting from three sources that you can find on the internet: 

Miriam Webster Dictionary: “The practice of dividing or arranging a territorial unit into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage in elections.” 

Britannica.com: “In U.S. politics the practice of drawing the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage (political or partisan gerrymandering) or that dilutes the voting power of members of ethnic or linguistic minority group (racial gerrymandering).” 

Wikipedia: “The political manipulation of electoral district boundaries with the intent to create undue advantage for a party, group or social economic class within the constituency.”

Now, I have it on good authority that at least a majority of the five City Council’s present members feel very strongly that district voting is not the way to go. But, they are claiming that they have no choice but to approve it as the city manager has informed them that the cost to go back to court would be prohibitive.  

There are several cities throughout California that have refused to go along with this after being sued by the likes of the same lawyers/clients as are suing Santa Clarita. They feel the money to go back to court is well worth spending taxpayer dollars on. The taxpayers get so little say as to how their tax dollars are spent in the Santa Clarity Valley and the state of California. We are taxed on everything they can possibly come up with to tax us for … Another letter for another time. 

All most of us are asking is that a “hold” be put on this decision. It is being pushed through too quickly so as to be in place for the 2024 elections. When the council shouts out “too much money,” look in to all that they have been and are spending of your taxpayer dollars without so much as a thought for any of us. 

Our City Council is very trusting of the city manager they hired. They rarely question any of his final recommendations. I believe the majority of council members would really like to put this on hold as much as a lot of us who have looked into it from both sides of the political aisle. 

There is a final meeting at City Hall on the first floor on May 30 at 6 p.m. Please try to show up in person. And, if after investigating yourselves, you feel as those who are against this change, please email each of the council members urging them to give it a unanimous “no” vote. 

Check out who district voting has put on our school boards in any city where it has been established. Those in the “poorer” communities are being encouraged to let the government take care of them. They are becoming more and more dependent on said government. The standards to become police, firefighters, nurses, doctors, you name it, have been lowered. There is no male or female who has been born without the tools to get ahead and live a full, happy life. Bring those learning standards back up and just see what every boy or girl can get themselves out of, without the government trying to take the places of their dads and moms. 

Remember, you get what you vote for. Check out those voted in and see who has kept promises made and who has not.  

Diane Zimmerman

Santa Clarita

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