Support the Civil Rights of People of Color in the Pico Neighborhood of Santa Monica, CA
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The Pico Neighborhood is one of seven neighborhoods that comprise the City of Santa Monica, a small beach town located adjacent to the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
The Pico Neighborhood has historically and continues to be populated by a majority of People of Color e.g. Latinos, Blacks, and Asians.
Unfortunately, at the same time, Pico residents have also suffered from decades of racism, discrimination, poverty, and inequality.
In 2015, Pico residents sent a letter to the City of Santa Monica asking the City to change from an At-Large voting system to a District-voting system.
In a nutshell, an At-Large voting system requires that residents pick their City Council representatives from a slate of candidates from the entire City at large. Conversely, a District voting system allows residents to pick his or her City Council representative from a slate of candidates from his or her own neighborhood, or rather, district.
The City of Santa Monica has refused to grant Pico resident's request and instead has opted to allow the matter to go to court where it is currently in litigation. This is despite the fact that the California Superior court has ruled that At-large voting system are illegal because they violate the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. --Build upon the federal Voting Rights Act, the CVRA allows residents to sue local governments if their election systems impact minority communities and serve as a barrier to fair minority representation.
No person of color from the Pico has ever served on the Santa Monica City Council and in the City's ENTIRE HISTORY, only two people of color have served.
Latino, Black, and Asian Santa Monica residents from the Pico residents deserve to have a representative of their choice on the City Council. People of color deserve to have their civil and constitutional rights upheld, particularly when such rights of Pico residents and people of color have been historically and to this day continue to be violated.
Let the City of Santa Monica know that the Constitution and rights and privileges thereof, including voting rights, apply to all Americans---even those might be of Latino, Black, or Asian descent.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY and JOIN ME IN ASKING the CITY OF SANTA MONICA to END THE LITIGATION AND INSTITUTE DISTRICT ELECTIONS.
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