On Tuesday night, without comment, the Anaheim city council agreed to pay $1.22 million in plaintiff attorneys fees related to a voting rights lawsuit seeking to require the establishment of council districts, and district level elections, in the city. The amount is on top of the $1.25 million in legal fees the city had incurred fighting the inevitable.
The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously last night to settle the California Voting Rights Act lawsuit challenging the legality of the at-large voting process used to elect the city council. The settlement requires that the city council place a charter amendment before the voters in November 2014 to establish by-district voting for city council elections beginning in 2016.
Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Franz Miller, set a March 17, 2014 trial date for the Anaheim Voting Rights discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of Anaheim Latino activists who claim that the current at-large system of electing city council members violates the California Voting Rights Act by suppressing the ability of Latinos to be elected in a city that is 53% Latino by population in favor a a wealthy and predominantly whit segment of Anaheim voters.
Yesterday Orange County Superior Court Judge Franz Miller delayed the start of the trial over a voting rights lawsuit seeking district elections for city council members. Judge Miller agreed with the city that the committee debating the issue should be allowed to complete its work before he makes his ruling.
Last night the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) passed a resolution endorsing an eight-district plan for the Anaheim City Council. The resolution was the product of the work of the local Democratic Party’s Resolution Committee which was adopted by the Executive Board two weeks ago and sent to the Party Central Committee for consideration Tuesday evening.
Major media outlets and members of congress have indicated that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected on Thursday to lift the ban on women in the armed forces working in combat positions. Called the Ground Combat Exclusion, the policy restricts women from participating in approximately 237,000 battalion -level jobs in all branches of the military.
Dragging things out is the best option for the council majority and the worst for the voters of Anaheim. Even if the end result is a recommendation to establish districts, they can claim that holding a special election before the 2014 primary or general elections would be too expensive for a cash-strapped city.