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Dana Point District Elections Workshop Number Two

Roughly 50 people attended the second public Dana Point district elections workshop presented by the City of Dana Point government at R.H. Dana Elementary School on 25 April, 2018. Mayor Richard Viczorek and councilmember John Tomlinson were not in attendance. Councilmembers Lewis, Muller and Wyatt were present.

The agenda included an introduction by city manager Mark Denny, a presentation by lawyer Alan Fenstermacher of the city’s law firm, Rutan & Tucker, followed by Q&A. Current city attorney Patrick Muñoz did not present to the public but was in attendance.

Dana Point Elections workshop photo

Legal summary:

  • The only way Dana Point will be 100% protected from future law suits related to racially polarized voting under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA) is to change to 5 districts before May 21, 2018
  • There may be some risk to changing to 4 districts plus an at-large Mayor (sometimes referred to as “4 plus 1”), but the lawyer refused to quantify that risk, asserting instead that currently, given there is no case law to cite on this question yet, the risk of the 4-plus-1 option is higher than 0%

The Q&A exchange between citizens and the Fenstermacher lasted roughly 40 minutes with residents either asking about legal details or railing against the frustrating situation imposed on Dana Pointers by the legal challenge from La Jolla lawyer Russel Myrick under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA). By the end of that discussion, it appears certain that Dana Point will change to by-district elections before 21-May 2018.

As the Q&A session finished, many in the audience left the workshop.

Dana Point Elections workshop photoFollowing this, Robert McEntire of National Demographics Corporation (NDC), the company hired to work on drawing up the district lines in Dana Point, presented to the audience and summarized the many maps they have drafted. All maps have been made public via the city’s website and in the previous workshop and city council meetings. The most current versions of the draft maps were enlarged and hung on the walls of the room with notepads for residents to comment on each proposed map (see photos below).

The demographics company made themselves available for discussion at one table in the front of the room, and the law firm sat at another table in the back, both of which were visited by less than five citizens.

Comments on Maps:


UPDATE 27-April 2018 1pm:

Two new maps have been added to the city’s website:

New Map: Tan VI

New Map: Tan VII



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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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