The Geopolitics of 2012 Gresham             Oregon   Based on the Testimony Before Gresham City                     Counci...
CITIZEN BALLOT INITIATIVE     A newly formed coalition of citizens is pursuing a ballot      measure that would amend the...
ELECTION OF GRESHAM CITY    COUNCILORS – MAY 1986     Question: Shall city councilors be elected from the city at      la...
SUPPORTERS ARGUMENTS FOR A    “YES” VOTE     1. Since all six city councilors make decisions which affect all      Gresha...
OPPONENTS’ ARGUMENTS FOR A    “NO” VOTE     1. Election by district not only creates a more diverse      council, but mak...
WHICH NEIGHBORHOOD HAS A    VOTING MAJORITY?6   Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability   03/16/12
WHAT DOES THIS MAP SHOW?     Majority of council lives in one      neighborhood     Large parts of Gresham are         ...
CHARTER PROMOTES CITIZEN    INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNANCE     The mayor and city manager are mandated to      report annually...
IMPORTANT FACTS     At-large system is new since 1988     District size         1987 – 6000 people         2012- 105,0...
CONSEQUENCES OF GRESHAM     VOTING SYSTEM      High cost of running for public office          Vast majority of citizens...
IMPACT ON NEIGHBORHOODS      80% of neighborhoods not geographically represented      Gresham Butte Council Majority unf...
CITIZEN VOICE AND CITY     COUNCIL ACCOUNTABILITY      At-large election system          Means all 105,000+ of us are re...
SHOULD WE WAIT FOR VOTER     RIGHTS ACT LITIGATION?      Discrimination today is more subtle than the visible methods    ...
THE GEOPOLITICS OF POLITICAL     POWER      Do citizens understand the potential discriminatory and negative       impact...
WHAT CAN YOU DO?      Recruit 3-5 friends and/or members of your neighborhood association         to join this ballot mea...
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The geopolitics of_2012_gresham_oregon (1)

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The geopolitics of_2012_gresham_oregon (1)

  1. 1. The Geopolitics of 2012 Gresham Oregon Based on the Testimony Before Gresham City Council February 7, 2012
  2. 2. CITIZEN BALLOT INITIATIVE  A newly formed coalition of citizens is pursuing a ballot measure that would amend the City Charter to require the majority of city council members to be elected from at least six geographic districts  This citizen initiative is seeking the support of a broad coalition of community business and civic organizations and look forward to Gresham City Council joining this effort2 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  3. 3. ELECTION OF GRESHAM CITY COUNCILORS – MAY 1986  Question: Shall city councilors be elected from the city at large instead of from six small council districts?  This measure would amend the Gresham City Charter to elect city councilors at large  League Summary: Gresham city councilors are now elected to two-year terms from six councilor districts, each district having approximately 6,000 residents. Presently, only registered voters in a district may vote for candidates running in the district.3 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  4. 4. SUPPORTERS ARGUMENTS FOR A “YES” VOTE  1. Since all six city councilors make decisions which affect all Gresham citizens, voters should be allowed to vote for all six positions, not just one  2. Districting restricts choices available to voters. Several qualified candidates may reside in the same zone, but only one could be elected.4 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  5. 5. OPPONENTS’ ARGUMENTS FOR A “NO” VOTE  1. Election by district not only creates a more diverse council, but makes each councilor more responsive to his/her given area.  2. Districting reduces the cost of running for election and also reduces the influence of special interests.  Let’s fast forward to 2012 and see what the consequences are of this vote!5 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  6. 6. WHICH NEIGHBORHOOD HAS A VOTING MAJORITY?6 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  7. 7. WHAT DOES THIS MAP SHOW?  Majority of council lives in one neighborhood  Large parts of Gresham are  not represented  grossly underrepresented  negatively represented  What is the trend?7 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  8. 8. CHARTER PROMOTES CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNANCE  The mayor and city manager are mandated to report annually to City Council progress on citizen involvement (Measure No. 26-86; 1998)  Would districts increase citizen involvement?  Does at-large voting decrease involvement?8 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  9. 9. IMPORTANT FACTS  At-large system is new since 1988  District size  1987 – 6000 people  2012- 105,000+ people  SUPERMAJORITY now in control  40% of Electorate can kill a Charter Amendment9 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  10. 10. CONSEQUENCES OF GRESHAM VOTING SYSTEM  High cost of running for public office  Vast majority of citizens cannot find the resources to run a successful campaign  Advantages those with wealth  Excessive influence of special interests  Uncontested council and mayoral races  Lack of representation  Less responsive to citizens  More responsive to special interests  Dilutes neighborhood and minority vote and voice  Low voter turnout10 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  11. 11. IMPACT ON NEIGHBORHOODS  80% of neighborhoods not geographically represented  Gresham Butte Council Majority unfamiliar with many neighborhood issues and concerns  Rockwood residents were and are inadequately represented on the Urban Renewal Citizen Advisory Committee  Long history of City Council not engaging or being influenced by neighborhoods  Also, there are a significant number of neighborhood associations that are inactive11 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  12. 12. CITIZEN VOICE AND CITY COUNCIL ACCOUNTABILITY  At-large election system  Means all 105,000+ of us are represented by every council member  Fails to make any one council member responsible and accountable for our district concerns, or those of our neighbors  No one council member is responsible or accountable to a particular citizen12 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  13. 13. SHOULD WE WAIT FOR VOTER RIGHTS ACT LITIGATION?  Discrimination today is more subtle than the visible methods used in1965. However the effects and results of “exclusive” at-large districts are the same  Do we in Gresham prefer to eliminate “exclusive” at-large voting districts and replace them with a “mixed form” of election system?13 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  14. 14. THE GEOPOLITICS OF POLITICAL POWER  Do citizens understand the potential discriminatory and negative impact of a majority of City Council and the Mayor residing in a concentrated area and single neighborhood and/or few neighborhoods?  How many citizens are aware that the city charter of 1978 election process had six districts and only the Mayor elected at- large.  Are we going to be a democracy in this city or are we going to be a democracy in one neighborhood?14 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12
  15. 15. WHAT CAN YOU DO?  Recruit 3-5 friends and/or members of your neighborhood association to join this ballot measure campaign  Attend City Council meetings  To show support for this citizen initiative  Give individual (three minute) testimony in support of this charter amendment  Question council candidates about their position on this charter amendment  Contact:  Go to Facebook: facebook.com/goodgresham  Or use email: goodgresham@gmail.com15 Citizen Voice and City Council Accountability 03/16/12

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