News Details

City to Evaluate Legal Options for Electoral Districts

After Threat of Litigation

City Attorney, James Markman provided a statement at the regular City Council meeting on February 17, 2016 regarding the receipt of a letter from law offices of Shenkman and Hughes.

The letter cites the authors belief that the city is in violation of the California Voters Rights Act (CVRA), urging the City to voluntarily change its at-large system of electing council members or the firm will "be forced to seek judicial relief."  The law firm's assertion is that the city's existing election process of a general election process  dilutes the voting power of Latino residents.

The Mailbu based law firm has sent similar demand letters to cities and governing boards across the state over the last several years, and has taken several agencies to court regarding this cliam.  To date, no city in California has prevailed in a CRVA lawsuit, despite millions of dollars in legal fees paid by these cities.

The City Council directed staff to move forward with putting the matter in front of the public for discussion. It is anticipated that this item will be placed on the March 16, 2016 City Council meeting agenda for further review and discussion.

Information will be provided on the City's website at Questions regarding this subject should be referred to James Markman, City Attorney at

( City Evaluating Legal Options Release 2.17.16 )