Proposition 1 was defeated last Tuesday by 58.18 percent to 41.82 percent according to an unofficial tally.
The proposition would have changed the city charter to make all seven Yakima City Council seats be divided among geographic districts. (See map of proposed district.)
ACLU threatens to file a lawsuit against Yakima in hopes of forcing City Council elections to be held by district under the federal Voting Rights Act, which prohibits states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
According to the ACLU, “Conditions in the region meet the legal standard of showing that ‘the voting system operates to prevent the minority group from participating equally in the political process and electing representatives of its choice.’ Intent to discriminate is not a factor in determining whether a majority-minority district is legally required.”
Right now the ACLU is trying to gather evidence to prove the city’s system prevents a minority’s chances at representation. They find it odd that even though Yakima has had three women mayors and one black mayor, not even one Latino has ever been elected to our City Council in spite of the large hispanic minority. That large minority did not receive the desired outcome in approving Proposition 1 evidently because of the majority. Imagine that.
ACLU doesn’t think it’s fair that the hispanic minority is disappointed with the vote. Sarah Dunne commented,
“The time has come for the creation of a majority-minority legislative district in Eastern Washington. Such a district will be geographically compact and will fulfill the democratic and legal imperative to create districts allowing full participation for all Washington citizens.” (See Letter to the Washington State Redistricting Commission.)
Mayor Micah Cawley said that he doesn’t understand ACLU’s position because the vote was held; the majority voted against it. He further commented that if Yakima is sued because they voted down Proposition 1 or because they haven’t as yet elected a hispanic to the City Council, the lawsuit would be looked at by the city’s attorneys before any decisions are made. He also quipped,
“You’re not going to get votes no matter what race you are if you don’t agree philosophically with the community. The idea that we are not electing people because they’re Latino is unfair to the people that live in our city.”
So true. For some reason, it doesn’t occur to the ACLU that we rightfully should be concerned with voting according to views we agree with, not according to gender or race.
In ACLU threatens to sue Yakima after voters kill Proposition 1, first few comments read as follows:
- David Poling: “…Those who wish to vote, do so and vice versa, the majority (citizens who voted) voted to leave it as it was.
- The districts are of course in different parts of town with different social and racial make up along with close to equal population in each area.
- How is that being bias against any race? If you are getting the 41% are Latino in Yakima from the last Census then do not forget the campaign that promoted Illegal Aliens be counted and their was no verification of citizenship during this process, so is this really an accurate demographic of our racial make up in Yakima? I do not believe it is….”
- Chase Martin: “Vote my way or get sued? The ACLU has a long history of lawsuits to get their way.”
- Duane White: “Typical method of the left. If they can’t get what they want through the democratic process, they’ll get it through court action. The “voice of the people” only counts when it goes their way.”
- Aaron Fowler: “Cool…this gives me an idea. Since I am neither Democrat or Republican, maybe I can talk to the ACLU and get them to sue the state of Washington for me, since all we have in federal and state congress are Democrats and Republican…and I’m not represented. I always vote “none of the above” when I’m only given Democrat and Republican options. That’s it, I’m suing!!!!!!! :)”