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Dana Point City Council Elections to Change Dramatically

It looks like Dana Point will move from “at-large” city council elections to five individual electoral districts.

Despite the fact that a demographer hired by the city, National Demographics Corporation, said districting will not help any minority populations become a majority in any one district, from the city council meeting on March 6, 2018, it was clear that the city council does not want to fight districting and assume the risk of an expensive and, in the city attorney’s opinion, losing legal battle. The demographer seemed to advocate in favor of the move to districting, citing lawsuits, despite at one point saying “you’re not paying me to determine whether you are violating the Voting Rights Act.”

Here is the official PDF document of this item from the city council agenda package for March 6, 2018: https://www.danapoint.org/Home/ShowDocument/24819

There will be four more public hearings on this topic, with districts likely drawn by May 15, 2018. The public may weigh in on how districts will be drawn, but the demographer stressed they should be drawn along natural and man-made borders, should each have a population of about 7,000 based on the 2010 census, should not bisect minority populations, and should reflect common interests. It seems quite likely that Capo Beach will be one of five districts since the zip code, size, common interests and geographic location form a natural District. Stay tuned, though. Anything can happen.

Citing public “mistrust of this Council,” Councilman Muller asked that no council members communicate with the demographer except in public (presumably to avoid any appearance of gerrymandering). All five members of the city council unanimously agreed.

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About the Author

Ross Teasley

A long-time Dana Pointer, technologist and publisher, I have been involved in several initiatives around Dana Point over the years ranging from environmental issues to civic planning. Fueled by coffee.

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