Tonight's meeting took about two hours and was packed with a ton of information. Still the house was less than half full.
The quick takeaway from it is that the process of establishing electoral districts is now underway in Wildomar, despite the fact that there were no public speakers in favor of it, nor any of the council members in favor of it.
Then again, Ken Mayes was up to his usual mental glass chewing, so maybe he was in favor of districts. You never can tell with that guy, you just know he's going to say something fatuous, that he attempts to gussy up to appear as if it was just delivered by a skid row Perry Mason.
The meeting started out with the council roll call, a flag salute, followed city manager Gary Nordquist reading a statement as to why Wildomar is taking the actions of going to district based voting. This was followed by a ten minute introduction by senior litigation partner Marguerite Mary Leoni of the firm Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni.
Very heady stuff, and it's all in the first video I've uploaded. This was followed by twelve plus minutes of more on the spot learning taught by Douglas Johnson, of the National Demographics Corporation. The last eighteen minutes is Ms. Leoni telling the council how to, and how not to draw districts.
I could do several dozen pull quotes from Ms. Leoni, Mr. Johnson, the public speakers and the council, but if you're interested, then I suggest you watch the videos. Well... here's one from Ms. Leoni.
The letter then states that the city is 35% Latino in population, but that number for purposes of a voting rights act violation is irrelevant.
The letter then goes on to say that the council is notable, when compared to the demographics of the city, by the lack of Latino representation on the council. And as we in this room know, that's not true. Our mayor is a Latina.
As you can see from the graphic, we have no predominately Hispanic/Latino area in the city. In fact, in another graph where it discusses languages spoken in Wildomar homes, less than 10% speak English "well" or less.
I didn't take the time for very much editing in the videos. I apologize in advance for quick pans or zooms. Also, in the second video I had to change batteries with only a few moments left.
The second video starts off with the public comments which are in this order.
- George Taylor discussed how this is tantamount to racial profiling.
- Gina Castanon: "What if no one runs in a district?"
- Ken Mayes (listen and judge for yourself starting at 8:30 in the video)
- Maria Walker: "I'm a Latina, and I voted for at large."
- George Cambero: "I've been trying to run for office for years. I've run for the school district, for Western Municipal Water District, for EVMWD. When I run, I run not to represent the Latino community, no. I wanted to run because it was something I believed in and believe that I represent everybody."
- Joseph Morabito: "We know that the letter writer, to the LA lawyer, will be looking for any ticky-tack reason to bring another lawsuit against the city. So you know you're going to have to cross all the t's and dot all the i's... and even then I'm putting all my money on another lawsuit coming."
|Have to love the nearly contradictory instructions in the above graphic.|
It's really a slimy, and thoroughly unjust charge to suggest that the fine representatives of Wildomar have colluded to keep any group from their constitutional rights of voting for candidates of their choice.
Whoever the letter writer was, the one that started our city in this very negative direction, didn't have the courage of his/her conviction to speak up. Which is so typical that it's hardly worth mentioning.
I really liked the words that came from Gina Castanon, Maria Walker and George Cambero during the public comments section. Please listen to their comments as they delivered them in the video below.
The same goes for the council comments. If you're interested in them, they start after the public comments and you might as well hear them as they happened in real time, than have me cherry pick out my favorites.
If you listen to the words throughout the videos, you see that there was no other way around this. In the end, one twisted person has forced his/her will onto the other 34,000+ people that live here.
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