Growing Group of Supporters Backs Escondido Voting Rights Lawsuit

December 15, 2011 - A diverse and growing group of supporters made their voices heard December 14 at the Escondido City Council meeting, where they strongly endorsed efforts to elect city council members by districts, rather than by the current at-large method.  The growing support for the effort was voiced by a diverse array of people from the region at the city council meeting, one week after construction laborer Demetrio Gomez served the city council with the demand.

He was joined this week by more Building Trades workers, organized by San Diego Building Trades Council Business Manager Tom Lemmon, Iron Workers Local 229 Business Agent Cesar Cabrera and Iron Worker Mauro Figueroa, Business Agents Frank Cesena and Luis Gomez from Cement Masons Local 500, other construction laborers, Bill Flores from the Latino rights advocacy group El Grupo, ACLU Field Organizer Ale Ricardez, Carmen Miranda-Griffith from Neighborhood Health Care, and Rabbi Laurie Coskey and Rev. Beth Johnson from the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.  Supporters are preparing a lawsuit charging that the current at-large system violates federal and state voting rights laws.

A local radio news report quoted SBCTC Legislative Director Cesar Diaz saying, “Our council has a mission, to promote our members’ participation in democratic institutions from school boards all the way up to the federal government level.  Right now their participation is being hindered as a result of not having district elections.”

The city council discussed the issue in closed session but took no action.  The mayor repeatedly ordered silence from audience members applauding the speakers.

The December 14 meeting can be viewed here:

http://www.escondido.org/city-council-video-library.aspx

Click on the December 14, 2011 meeting, and forward to Item 2 of 15.

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