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On Wednesday evening, June 7, the Morgan Hill City Council voted to voluntarily move to district elections.This was prompted by the City receiving a letter from the law firm of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian, & Ho, dated May 5, 2017, claiming that the city is violating the California Voting Rights Act because City Council members are elected at-large rather than by districts. Dozens of local government agencies in California have faced similar challenges in recent years including the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Morgan Hill Unified School District.
By voluntarily moving to district elections the City of Morgan Hill will take advantage of legal protection that enables cities to have a say in district boundaries and avoid costly litigation. This protection applies only to cities that pass a resolution within 45 days of receiving a demand letter alleging a violation of the California Voting Rights Act. The resolution must indicate the city’s intent to move to district elections and the plan to make the change.
During its discussions, the City Council determined that the City will strive to have an open, transparent, and inclusive process. More information will be available very soon, and we want to alert all residents of the need for your input and participation in establishing City Council districts in Morgan Hill. The City will be retaining an expert demographer to draw district maps for consideration, according to the requirements of the Federal Voting Rights Act and the California Voting Rights Act. The City Council strongly encourages all residents to actively engage in this very important process.
For more information about the transition to City Council District elections and to provide your input visit: DrawMH.org
Click here to view a schedule of public meetings.