Single-Member Districts in Santa Clara
The traditional remedy for at-large or multi-member election systems found to have violated voting rights laws is a single-member district system. We need to first defeat Measure A in order to propose single-member districts as the appropriate remedy for Santa Clara’s at-large elections.
Single-member districts are designed to have a majority-minority population to ensure that the district will elect a candidate of the minority voters’ choice. We believe Santa Clara has at least one of these districts. Single-member districts can also be drawn with coalitions between minority groups, such as Asian-American and Latino groups, or to have an influence district, in which the minority group can at least influence the outcome of the election. We believe Santa Clara has at least one of these districts, too.
Single-member districts bring other benefits as well. They enhance accountability and neighborhood representation by ensuring that Councilmembers are responsive to the needs and concerns of each area of the city. Unlike at-large elections, which promote expensive city-wide campaigns, neighborhood districts localize the costs of campaigning, empowering grassroots campaigns.
We ask for your support in defeating Measure A in the City of Santa Clara. This measure is a regressive reform, proposed with the primary goal of getting the City out of a voting rights lawsuit. We are outmatched in funds and manpower by the national organization FairVote, and could use your help to ensure that Santa Clara elections are representative of all voters.