Thursday, February 25, 2016

King City to switch city council elections from at-large to district

The King City council voted late Tuesday to change the way members currently get elected from at-large to district.

It's a move that Latino activist and community members pushed for to bring more diversity and representation to the elected body. In spite of being more than 90 percent Latino, only one member of the council is Latino. The vote was 4-0, with Darlene Acosta abstaining.

"For the past couple of years, the people of King City have been rocked by the injustices caused by the King City Police Department and been demanding fairer and more equitable political representation in their local government," said in a statement Carlos Ramos, deputy director of California State LULAC. "We commend the city council for finally answering the community’s call for fairness in their local electoral process so they can hold their officials accountable."

The switch is possible thanks to new legislation, SB 493, that allows cities with fewer than 100,000 residents to make the change without having to put the question to the voters. The legislation was authored by Sen. Anthony Canella, and it's the first time that's being used, supporters say.

"It's historic," said Carlos Victoria, a former councilmember who pushed for the change. "It's a good day for King City."

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