Measure A is a proposal to amend the Santa Clara City charter to allow a two multi-member district election system with rank-choice voting by single-transferable vote. The plan is to split the city into two districts, straight along El Camino; the heart of the Korean-American community. This is gerrymandering hiding in plain sight, right at home.
The City of Santa Clara is currently being sued due to the fact that its at-large system of electing City Council members violates the California Voting Rights Act. Measure A is the City Council’s attempt to get out of this lawsuit. The city has kept the system in place despite reported evidence of “racially polarized voting” which diluted the votes of Asian-Americans. On May 15, the judge ordered an initial ruling that the city had violated CVRA.
Studies on cities such as Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco, all who implemented this system, have shown that senior, minority and young voters are more likely to make mistakes on their ballots, leading to the exhaustion of their votes and their voices completely being erased.
Measure A only further complicates the voting process, which should be simple and straightforward, with the implementation of ranked-choice voting. Even our current Governor Jerry Brown, has said that ranked-choice voting “is overly complicated and confusing.” The city of Santa Clara has not gone out of its way to educate its people on this experimental method of voting, and this is wrong for Santa Clarans of every background.
If Measure A were to be passed, the voices of the minorities living in Santa Clara will be diluted and disenfranchised—their voices, unheard. As a student of De Anza who is an Asian-American, and someone employed in the city of Santa Clara, it is terrifying knowing that this is happening so close to home. Our student government’s constitutional mission statement is, “We, the student population of De Anza College, do hereby establish and adopt this constitution in order to provide for both fair and equal representation of students at the college, district, state, and federal levels…”
We should not sit still when such injustices will happen in our community. This is why De Anza Associated Student Body voted to join the coalition against Measure A. YOU can join our fight against Measure A too by telling friends and family who are registered to vote in Santa Clara to vote NO on Measure A. For more information, check out noasantaclara.com.
Editor’s note: Lawrence Su is a DASB senator.