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Voice for Democracy | October 2018


The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) is meant to provide a way for under-represented minority communities to get representation on council and school boards. The problem is that district elections don’t always create more representative outcomes, especially when housing segregation patterns do not place communities in the same area of a city. Multi-Winner Ranked Choice Voting, on the other hand, has a great record of electing minority candidates, and does not require dividing the city into districts.

Fort Bragg, Sunnyvale, Monterey, Redwood City, and the Palo Alto Unified School District are under pressure to divide into districts to comply with the CVRA. Do you live in or near any of these cities? Do you know anyone that lives in those cities?

If so, here are two things you and your friends can do to help:

(1) Contact your City Council (or, for Palo Alto, the school district) and ask them to:

(a) negotiate more time with the potential CVRA plaintiff so that they can…
(b) set up a citizens advisory committee to study electoral methods and make a recommendation as to what would be best for the jurisdiction. Both CfER and FairVote will be happy to provide people to help educate the committee, any council members or staff, or any school board member.
(2) If you don’t know how to do the above, or are not comfortable doing it, but would like to help, please contact Pedro Hernandez at and tell him what city you live in, and that you’d like to help.

As we write this, it is Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 12th. The 2018 Elections were excellent for Electoral Reform, particularly for the movement for Proportional Representation and Ranked Choice Voting. Here is some quick info for you.
* RCV Elections in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro went extremely well: San Francisco , East Bay Cities

* Voters in two Massachusetts cities voted overwhelmingly in favor of Ranked Choice Voting. See Strong Vote in MA for RCV

* In Maine, RCV was used to elect a Senator and members of the House of Representatives for the first time ever! Maine RCV Review

* More to come later — RCV is used in even more places in the USA, including Cambridge, Minneapolis, and other jurisdictions.
Voice For Democracy Newsletter
In December, we’ll be bringing you a full issue of Voice for Democracy. 
— CfER Staff
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