Letter to the Editor — Promises Made, Promises Broken, Pleasant Hill Tries to Gerrymander District Lines

PLEASANT HILL, CA (April 24, 2023) —  On 1/19/23, Pleasant Hill announced they received a demand letter from the law firm Shenkman & Hughes alleging that the City was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act and should change to by-district elections for all councilmembers.

The City Council considered this on 3/6/23 and decided to proceed with district elections. The City rejected the proposal from many residents to have an independent districting commission draw new District lines, opting instead to keep that power within the City Council, but promising not to instruct or influence the demographer (who would be drawing the district lines) in any way including blinding the demographer to where the City Council members lived. That promise was broken when the Mayor on 4/17/23 not only revealed where he lived to the demographer, but instructed the demographer to consider drawing lines that would benefit him as an incumbent.

View the video at https://youtu.be/NFVKXtNymTw. The residents of Pleasant Hill demand a fair, equitable and transparent process in drawing City Council district lines without any undue influence.

Mike Lee
Resident, Pleasant Hill, CA