As other North County cities have done already this year, Encinitas too will move toward district elections.
The Coast News’ Aaron Burgin writes that the Encinitas City Council unanimously approved beginning the process of switching to district elections, with the usual grumbling about being bullied by an out-of-town lawyer.
And like the other cities, Encinitas was accused of diluting Latinos’ voting power with at-large elections. The city has elected two Latino members to its City Council over the city’s 31-year history.
For that reason, two Council members aren’t ready to give in without a fight, and are waiting to hear the results of demographic and legal analyses.
“Personally, this isn’t the time to make a decision to fight or not,” Councilman Tony Kranz said, according to Coast News. “I am not prepared tonight to say it’s worth a fight, I think it’s important we have the facts in front of us. But I am relatively certain we are right with the law and it’s worth defending.”
Mayor Catherine Blakespear noted the city’s lack of a housing element, a plan to add affordable housing, means the “optics aren’t good” for the city’s reputation with minorities. She also called that failure a “black eye” and “liability” in her weekly newsletter.