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LETTERS -- Districts Give All Voters a Voice

March 7, 2019

Dear Editor,

I felt lower than a gopher’s ears when I read Former Mayor Paul Rosenstein's letter to the editor in the Lookout that distorts the facts in the voting rights case so much ("LETTERS --Supporters of District Elections Should Beware of What They Seek," August 4, 2019).

Mr. Rosenstein has conveniently left out a major fact in his carefully crafted letter admonishing supporters of district elections to beware of what they seek.

He states that the districts in the judge's order “were drawn up in secret by a small group.”

Yes, the suggested districts were drawn up by the plaintiffs, who responded to Judge Palazuelos suggestion that each side of this case provide a district map to the court.

The plaintiffs engaged a noted demographer and provided the suggested map to the court for the judge to study in order to make an informed ruling.

The City side and their expen$ive legal team dismissed this suggestion in their arrogance and declined to submit a district map so the judge used the one map that was submitted to her that the plaintiffs had drawn.

Mr. Rosenstein says in his letter that the plaintiffs “cleverly gerrymandered” the lines to put three current incumbents in the same district.

There doesn’t seem to be any sign of gerrymandering based on the gerrymandered congressional maps I’ve seen.

The district map looks pretty even to me based on the city's population in relation to the smaller suggested districts that are heavy with apartments. It doesn’t look like it was drawn based of the home addresses of current council members.

Mr. Rosenstein, a former Santa Monica for Renters' Rights (SMRR) backed mayor, also expresses concern in his letter that districts will lead to the trading of votes leading to decisions" that are not necessarily what’s best for the city as a whole”.

Thank heavens no votes have been traded on our council for the past 40 years of SMRR domination.

The voting rights lawsuit was filed to give visible minorities a voice in the affairs of the City of Santa Monica.

There is also a not so visible minority residing in Santa Monica, whose rights have been trampled by the SMRR way or the highway, who have been following this case with high expectations.

Things have been “one way” here for decades. It’s time to give all of the voters a voice.

Districts will provide that chance.

Patrick Regan
Santa Monica

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