Mayor Rex Parris joins voting rights lawsuit against Palmdale
A battle of neighboring cities
Lancaster mayor R. Rex Parris, an attorney, and the Malibu law firm Shenkman & Hughes have joined together in a suit against the city of Palmdale under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). The case, filed on behalf of plaintiff Juan Jauregui, seeks to end Palmdale’s at-large system of electing city council members in favor of geographic council districts.
Jauregui alleges that Palmdale’s at-large method of election has resulted in the dilution of Latino and African American voters, denying them effective political participation in elections to the Palmdale City Council. The complaint was filed in April 2012. A hearing for the Superior Court case—Juan Jauregui v. City of Palmdale— is scheduled for March 19, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 68. A trial date has been set for May 5, 2013.
“The effects of the city of Palmdale’s at-large method of election are apparent and compelling,” said a statement released by the attorneys. “Despite a Latino population of approximately 54.4 percent and an African American population of 14.8 percent in Palmdale, only one Latino and not a single African American has ever been elected to Palmdale’s City Council. Consistently, the candidates of choice of Latino and African American voters have been defeated because they fail to draw support from Palmdale’s politically cohesive White voters.”
A statement from Palmdale reads:
“While the city [of Palmdale] cannot discuss the specifics of pending litigation, the city believes that when it comes to making decisions based upon fundamental freedoms, such as how the citizens of Palmdale elect their representatives, it should be done legislatively by the community as a whole after a vigorous debate on the merits,” said a statement by Palmdale City Attorney William M. Dithazy.
“Such decisions should not be foisted upon a community through litigation initiated by a single citizen and sponsored by outsiders that may not have the city’s best interests at heart. Guided by this principle, the city placed a measure on the Nov. 6, 2001, ballot asking its citizens if they wished to elect their city council members by way of districts. The community decided that it preferred the existing at-large method of voting.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Black Los Angeles police officer who said he endured racially related pranks and comments from his supervisor and others in the Central Division was today awarded $1.2 million in damages for emotional distress.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than a day before finding in favor of Officer Earl Wright, a 23-year LAPD veteran who alleged a hostile work environment and supervisor harassment.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Black Los Angeles police officer is entitled to up to $2 million in damages for emotional distress he suffered while enduring racially related pranks and comments from his supervisor and others in the Central Division, the veteran lawman’s attorney told a jury today.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Paris Jackson, the 14-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson, is being questioned Thursday about her father’s last days as part of her family’s wrongful death lawsuit against a concert promoter.
In addition, Jackson lawyers told the judge in a court filing this week they were concerned that lawyers for AEG Live, the company accused of liability in Jackson’s death, were “behaving aggressively and erratically” in their questioning of the Jackson children.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—An attorney representing people in three Los Angeles council districts accused city officials today of illegally using race as the basis for redrawing council district lines.
Leo Terrell, who is Black, said the redrawn boundaries were created to strengthen the Black voting bloc in the 10th District represented by Council President Herb Wesson, while carving Koreatown into several different districts, effectively diluting the voting power of the predominantly Asian neighborhood.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A 19-year-old Latino man was sentenced today to 25 years and four months in state prison for threatening a Black family in Glassell Park with a shotgun while shouting racial epithets.
Ivan Alquicira was convicted of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of making terrorist threats, with enhancements for hate crimes, gang involvement and firearms possession.