District Voting has Yet to Bring New Faces to Politics

Clay Lambert, Half Moon Bay Review, August 12, 2020

"The change to district voting was meant to level the playing field for people like Joaquin Jimenez. He qualified on Friday to run in the Half Moon Bay City Council District 3 contest against the current mayor, Adam Eisen. But Jimenez says the change had no impact on his decision to throw his hat in the ring. In fact, he says it made it more difficult for him to collect the signatures necessary to get on the ballot because he has friends and supporters across the city.

"However, Jimenez noted that district voting might help others like him. In many instances, at-large voting is just one more aspect of systemic racism that favors white people in our elections. Whether that is true on the coast is debatable, but the need for greater equity is clear. Consider that about 30 percent of the residents of the city of Half Moon Bay are Latino, yet you can still look long and hard for Latinos among elected representatives here."

Read the editorial at the HMB Review website

The above editorial prompted the following Letter to the Editor from Coastside Families Taking Action:

"The new district voting system does indeed have the potential to help Latinx candidates get elected, and hence give Half Moon Bay a City Council that looks a lot more like its voters. (See Review editorial, Aug. 12.)

"As you note, 30 percent of Half Moon Bay residents are Latino or Latina, so at least one of the City Council members really ought to be as well. However, the district boundaries have been drawn such that they “crack” the Hispanic vote across the four districts, leaving none of those districts with a Hispanic majority.


"Fortunately, the voters of City Council District 3 will have a golden opportunity this fall to right this particular wrong, and take a small step toward dismantling systemic racism and making our City Council more representative of our community by voting for Joaquin Jimenez."

Read the letter at the HMB Review website

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