I’d been told about this effort to carve Roseville in to City Council Districts coming some time ago. This blog is about a legal demand letter sent to the City of Roseville regarding a redistricting scheme being advanced by two City Councilors.
Dear Roseville City Council,
My name is Mark Meuser and I am an election law attorney with the Dhillon Law Group. I have been retained by several residents of the City of Roseville. They have requested that I address the significant legal issue of political subdivisions being drawn with significant variance in the sizes of the districts.
It is my understanding that the city council is changing from at-large districts to district-based elections for the 2020 elections. It is also my understanding that the city council is considering redrawing the lines based on the 2010 census data. However, it has been brought to my attention that approximately 20,000 people have moved to Roseville over the last 10 years that are not accounted for in the 2010 Census. It is my understanding that these 20,000 new residents are not equally distributed across the city but primarily live in one geographic area of the city which would place nearly all of the new residents in only one of the potential five new districts.
You can read the entire letter here. I did not write this letter or pay Mark Meuser, but I 100% know of its’ contents, how it was produced and was involved in the hiring of Mark Meuser to write it. I am hoping to not be forced to sign on to a lawsuit against the City I’ve lived in for the better part of the last 22 years. Myself and some friends are actively engaged in attempting to stop this attempt to end run the 2022 Census.
I do not believe that John Allard and Bruce Houdesheldt support the effort to try and district Roseville in the manner that is being proposed.
What I believe is happening is that Scott Alvord and Pauline Rocucci are the prime movers behind this push as both want to be Mayor. In the case of Scott – were the districts to be drawn using 2010 statistics, he’d end up in a district roughly double the population of the other 4 as almost all the new population since 2010 has come to West Roseville. The allegations I am hearing is that Scott believes his ticket to mayor is via such an arrangement as he’d be guaranteed to be the top vote getter. (This of course assumes Scott is re-elected once people in West Roseville find out about this issue)
I live in the part of Roseville that would get disenfranchised by this proposed City Council Redistricting proposal. I quite literally see this as fighting for mine and the rights of everyone that lives west of Foothills Blvd in Roseville. I am extremely disappointed in Scott Alvord for pushing this scheme.
I am not surprised that Pauline would participate as it appears she has sought to meet out revenge on anyone and everyone that did not support her election. My Mother had nothing but good things to say about Pauline when she was on the High School Board, but that goodwill is decimated based on reports I have been getting from insiders and her behavior, temperament (including threatening people with retaliation) and stances on key issues.
This leaves Krista Bernascnoi as the X-Factor. Insiders have been telling me she is leaning in favor of the Alvord-Rocucci plan.
The letter continues:
It is my understanding that one of the reasons for this change to district-based elections is to stop the potential liability of attorneys’ fees should a letter be sent claiming that the City of Roseville has violated the California Voting Rights Act. It is my understanding that the city has not yet received any such letter. It is important to know that according to California Elections Code 10010, should the City “pass a resolution outlining its intention to transition from at-large districts to district-based elections, [with] specific steps it will undertake to facilitate this transition, and an estimated time frame for doing so” the total amount that the City could be liable for the violation of the California Voting Rights Act would be $30,000.
It appears that the City is prepared to pay a demographer up to $30,750.00 to redraw the boundaries for the 2020 election. The City will be required to pay a demographer again after the 2020 Census to redraw the boundaries again (probably another $30,000). Thus the City is paying over $30,000 to a demographer to avoid the risk of paying an attorney up to $30,000 for a potential liability of a California Voting Rights Act violation that has not yet occurred, and which will need to be repeated following the 2020 Census.
Nothing in Elections Code 10010 prohibits the City Council from voting to move to district-based elections and establishing a time frame for doing so after the City receives the 2020 Census data. This appears to be a more logical course of action as it would not require the paying a demographer twice to redraw the boundaries, it would limit the city’s liability under the California Voting Rights Act, and it would preclude the potential litigation that the districts violate the Equal Protection Rights of the City.
It does not appear that the City Council is properly evaluating the transition from at-large districts to district-based elections. I hope this letter will assist you in carefully considering all the implications of your pending decisions in this matter.
For those of you that read this blog – you know I do not bluff. I really do not want to be forced to have to sign on as a plantiff in a lawsuit against the City of Roseville. Please stop. Please stop trying to control things you can’t control. If you split the city in to districts, do it in 2022 so you don’t have to do it twice or get sued and forced to do it twice. If the current scheme is allowed to proceed I will sign on to a voting rights lawsuit against the City of Roseville as a citizen whose vote will be diluted and disenfranchised by what I believe is a power grab.
P.S. Mark Meuser is the best election law attorney on the Right in the State of CA, he was also our nominee for Secretary of State in 2018.