Council Has Left Seats Vacant in Recent Past

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

The Santa Clara City Council doesn't always fill vacancies in its ranks. It has operated with a six-member Council before, while waiting for a regular election to bring its ranks to full strength. At the recent June 12 City Council Meeting — after the six-member council failed to appoint an applicant to Council Seat 5 — Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, “Santa Clarans have never left...

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Sparks Fly at Marathon Council Meeting With No Council Appointment

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

A deadlocked Santa Clara City Council vote last night ensured that the vacant Santa Clara City Council seat will remain empty until either a special election is called or the November election. The seat was formerly held by Dominic Caserta, who resigned on May 15 in the face of sexual harassment charges. The Santa Clara charter requires a 4/5 vote of the Council Members present to make an...

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Santa Clara Had 7-Year Warning of Voting Rights Lawsuit That Will Cost City Millions

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

In the last eight years the Santa Clara City Council has willfully missed many opportunities to prevent the voting rights lawsuit that will likely cost the City around $7 million—that's what recent CVRA lawsuits cost Palmdale and Santa Monica—and prevent November's Council election from being held. Since 2011, Santa Clara has been on notice that its at-large by-seat elections were a...

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Measure A Vote Points to a Heterogeneous Community, Not a Homogenous One

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Although Santa Clara voters gave Measure A the thumbs down, voting patterns on the measure in the City's 47 precincts yields useful insights for reforming City Council elections. Votes for and against Measure A weren't evenly distributed through the City—proof that the homogeneity that has been claimed for the City isn't, in fact, real. Precincts north of 101 and those in the Old Quad...

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Law

It’s Final: City Violated California Voting Rights Act

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

"Based on the evidence presented at trial, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the at-large method of election used by the City impairs the ability of Asians to elect candidates as a result of the dilution and abridgment of their rights as voters." – Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Thomas Kuhnle. Santa Clara's City Council election...

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June 2018 Election Results: Measure A, County Board of Supervisors Primaries, Superior Court Judge Recall

  • By Alissa Soroten
  • Published On

The City of Santa Clara saw about a 23 percent voter turnout for the June 5 elections. As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, most items have clear results.   Measure A Almost 10,000 Santa Clarans voted on Measure A — which would have updated the City Charter to change the way Council Members are elected — and the majority voted against the Measure. With 100 percent of precincts...

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Politics and Business Make an Interesting Mix at City Hall

  • By Melissa McKenzie and Carolyn Schuk
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Although the name of Related’s lobbyist, Jude Barry, has been scarce on Santa Clara City Council Member calendars of late, it doesn’t necessarily mean Barry is completely off the books. He has a long history of situating himself in the middle of South Bay politics, and particularly, the political landscape of Santa Clara for nearly a decade.   Democratic Party Politico Barry’s...

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Planning Commission Delays Vote on Mission Town Center

  • By Jacob Bourne
  • Published On

The Santa Clara Planning Commission spent the bulk of its May 23 meeting discussing and hearing presentations on the proposed mixed-use project at 575 Benton St. Known as the Mission Town Center, the transit-oriented project was originally proposed by the Irvine Company with Prometheus Real Estate Group later buying the property after arrangements fell through between Irvine and the former...

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The Nitty Gritty on Ranked Choice/Single Transferable Voting

  • By Rex Macintosh - Published June 4, 2018
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Tomorrow Santa Clara voters will be asked to decide whether the City should adopt a two-district, at-large Council seat system and a Ranked Choice, Single Transferrable Vote (RCV/STV) election method. The system is used in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Cambridge MA and Minneapolis MN, and some elections in India, Nepal and Pakistan. Yet voters won't even find the words "Single...

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Measure A Proponents and Opponents Make Their Closing Arguments

  • By David Alexander - Published June 4, 2018
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Santa Clarans face a critical decision. Tuesday’s election will see a ballot measure that aims to amend Santa Clara’s charter, altering the way the city elects local politicians. That measure, Measure A, would split the city into two districts, each represented by three Council Members. The measure would also put in place Single Transferrable Vote (STV) ranked choice voting. STV systems...

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