by Dillan Horton
In a democracy it is absolutely crucial that every person has equal representation. This is an ideal we all share but it is one that we are still struggling to fully realize. This is a struggle with high stakes and deep personal meaning to many of us.
That’s why I have been a long-time advocate for district elections, because they can shape a more representative and responsive government. District elections provide better representation for people of color, for people of lower socio-economic levels, and for parts of the city with specific needs. Earlier this year I introduced a resolution to the Yolo County Democratic Party asking city councils and school boards to move to district elections. After it was adopted I presented it to the Davis City Council and I hoped we would be able to make progress before a lawsuit came.
Now the prospect of an expensive lawsuit is at our doorstep and our community has some important choices to make. To implement districts in good faith we must do so in a way that is thoughtful, deliberate, and inclusive. To draw the districts we need the most accurate population statistics of our city. To consult the community we need an in-depth outreach process that educates people on this transition and solicits their input on how we should move forward. Doing this the right way will take time.
The reality is, there simply isn’t enough time to do that, even by November 2020. In the middle of 2020 we’re going to be conducting the Census. This will give us important up-to-date statistics that will inform the best possible drawing of the districts. With that information we can build an in-depth outreach process with the community to transition to districts in March 2022. This is how the city should move forward and act in good faith to implement these districts in a way we can be proud of.