The City Council has rejected a proposal by Councilwoman Nell Soto to place the issue of district elections on the November ballot.
Soto's recommendation follows the defeat of a class-action lawsuit filed in 1985 charging that the city's at-large election system is discriminatory because it dilutes the minority vote.
The suit, which was dismissed by a federal judge last fall, had argued that the city's large black and Latino populations would be better served by dividing the city into election districts.
In an effort to "clear this matter up once and for all," Soto asked the council to put the election issue on the ballot.
By a 2-1 vote, the proposal was defeated. Mayor Donna Smith abstained, pending a complete revision of the city's charter.