SBCAN Action Alert: City of SM takes input on drawing voting districts tonight

Santa Barbara County Action Network
March 7, 2017 

Hazel Davalos, Community Organizing Director for CAUSE and a board member of SBCAN, sends this message:

Hi everyone,
Just reminding you all that the first (Santa Maria) City Council hearing on district maps is (Tuesday, March 7) at 6:30pm at City Hall (110 E. Cook St.). This is a historic moment for our city and we need as much public participation as possible, please do your best to make it. 
(Tuesday) is a regular council meeting and it looks like we're item number 5 so it's very likely they won't address this issue at least until 7:00. If you plan on giving comment it would be good to get there early and fill out a speaker's slip, or send me your name and we can fill one out for you.
I'm attaching the staff report (find it here) that describes how (Tuesday, March 7) will go, according to this report it looks like the city might schedule the next hearing on 3/30 at the Vet's Hall but I'll keep everyone posted. What we do know is that there won't be very many hearings so it's critical to be there  from the very get go and let the city council know what kind of maps we'd like to see. 
I'm pasting some talking points below. I know the last meeting was rough, and we heard some things we didn't like from our opposition and the council but I really encourage folks to focus your comments to what you'd like to see in the maps and keep a positive tone. 
Talking points:
​* We should have four neighborhood districts who elect their own representative and a mayor elected citywide.  This allows residents to have one councilmember who feels directly responsible for issues in their neighborhood, as well as a mayor they can contact about all city issues. 
​* ​56% of citizens of voting age in Santa Maria are Latino.  In at least half of the districts, a majority of eligible voters must be Latino.  Anything less would be gerrymandering to limit the Latino community's representation.
​*​ The easiest, fairest starting place is drawing lines along Main and Broadway for the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast districts.  They could be adjusted from there to make sure each district has equal population.
* Districts are required to group similar neighborhoods together for representation, following communities of interest like income, age, ethnicity, homeownership, physical barriers, the natural environment, and neighborhood services and facilities: Tell personal experience about the characteristics of your neighborhood and community
See you tomorrow!
In solidarity,​

Hazel Davalos
Community Organizing Director
CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy)
402 S. Miller St. Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 720-1263
[email protected]