Wednesday, Jan. 21
League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara Community Forum
Noon-2 p.m.; Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De La Vina St.
“Will the City of Santa Barbara Return to District Elections?”
That’s the question that will be asked on Wednesday, Jan. 21 when the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara holds the first public discussion on the controversy of district versus at-large voting.
Speakers will be: Ariel Calonne, Santa Barbara City Attorney; Shane Stark, former Santa Barbara County Counsel and president of the LWVSB Education Fund; Sheila Lodge, former Mayor of Santa Barbara, and Jacqueline Inda, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the city’s current at-large voting system.
Calonne will talk about the effect of the lawsuit on the city, while Stark will give an overview of the California Voting Rights Act and how it impacts cities. Sheila Lodge, who is also a former LWVSB President and life member, will speak on the merits of at-large elections. Inda will discuss the reasons for the suit against the city and why she supports district elections.
There will be time for questions, and the League’s April Unit meetings will continue this discussion of district versus at-large voting. The Santa Barbara City Council has decided to put the question of district elections on the November 2015 ballot. The council is scheduled to talk about the process of redistricting at its council meeting on Jan. 27.
LWVSB is now engaged in a local study on whether to change its position, adopted in 1968, in favor of at-large elections. Such a change in position would be made by consensus at the League’s annual meeting in June.
But by then the courts may have decided the issue. The lawsuit against the city will be heard by Judge Donna Geck in April.
The Jan. 21 forum is free and open to the public. Those attending can bring a brown-and lunch, and drinks and dessert will be provided. Parking behind the center is free during the meeting.
Sponsor: LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF SANTA BARBARA