DRIVE FOR FIVE is a nonpartisan group of concerned Palm Desert residents who advocate for 5 voting districts in the City of Palm Desert ("5 District Voting"). It seeks to work cooperatively with the Palm Desert City Council to implement 5 District Voting for the 2022 election and beyond.
In 2019 the City of Palm Desert was sued in a civil rights lawsuit because its "at large" one district voting system violated the California Voting Rights Act. The suit was settled by the City Council gerrymandering an odd "two-district solution", wherein 20% of the city's majority Latinx center city was carved out to have its own Council representative. However, 80% of the City remained in "District 2" with the same at-large voting system that was challenged by the lawsuit. It has four members, two elected at-large every two years. The four members elected at-large in District 2 are from the same community in southern Palm Desert.
At-large elections made sense when the city of 17,000 when the city was founded in 1979. However, as the city grew, the needs of a community of more than 51,000 have changed. All four of the council members in District 2 remain people from what is now southern Palm Desert. Equal representation is the core of our republic, whether by Senators representing the states, Representatives from specific districts, members of the State Assembly and Senate, County Boards of Supervisors, and other cities in the Coachella Valley. The current make-up of the City Council means only the city center has its own representative on the Council Council, while 80 % of the city is represented by four members from only one area. The rest of Palm Desert lacks equal representation.
If the City Council does not cooperate, DRIVE FOR FIVE will pursue a petition to create and implement a 5 District Voting system before the 2022 election, so that the 2022 election will be held through a 5 District Voting system.
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