GLENDALE—On Dec. 12,the Glendale City Council and GUSD Board of Education discussed the possibility of transitioning from the city’s and school district’s at-large electorate system to district-based elections, reported the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale (ANCA Glendale). This deliberation followed after the entities received a report threatening the possibility of a lawsuit in light of its alleged violation of the California Voting Rights Act. In order to avoid litigation, both bodies considered whether the 2015 ballot should give voters the option of amending their respective charters from at-large elections to a “by-district” electoral system.
Representatives from ANCA Glendale appeared before both the Council and GUSD Board of Education to convey the organization’s position to support a 7 member district system. “Since the ANCA Glendale has neither sufficient information regarding the seriousness of the threat of a lawsuit, nor evidence suggesting violations of the California Voting Rights Act, we cannot comment on the threat or the stated allegations,” expressed Artin Manoukian, ANCA Glendale Chairman during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He continued by discussing the possibility of switching to district-based elections and emphasized the importance of having the outcome of this initiative be one that directly reflects voter opinion.
“ANCA Glendale believes that voters should decide on the issue of moving to “by-district” means of electing the members of the City Council and GUSD Board members. We do not support the alternative of authorizing the method of elections to be established by the City Council or GUSD Education Board Members,” stated ANCA Glendale Board Member, Hilma Balaian at the GUSD Board meeting.
Prior to Tuesday’s meetings, representatives from ANCA Glendale met with City Manager Scott Ochoa, and City Attorney Michael Garcia, to discuss alternative election methodologies the city is currently considering. After analyzing the options available, ANCA Glendale has positioned itself to support seven electoral districts. This measure will ensure that council members and GUSD Board of Education members will better represent the diverse demographic of residents, and result in a deeper level of accountability between themselves and their constituents.
On Tuesday, December 16th, council will make final decision regarding whether this measure will be placed on the ballot in the 2015 Glendale Municipal Elections.
The ANCA-Glendale advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.