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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Council Election Initiative

February 22, 1990

A community group launched an initiative drive last week to have voters elect City Council members by district instead of at-large, and to limit council members to two consecutive terms.

The group, Citizens United to Reform Elections, filed a notice with the city clerk to circulate a petition. The group has until early August to collect 8,435 signatures, which represents 15% of the city's registered voters.

If successful, the first district election would be held in June, 1992, and the first four of the seven districts up for election would be the odd numbered ones. If no candidate in a district receives a majority of the votes, a runoff election between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes would be held in the November general municipal election.

Initiative supporters say districts lines were drawn to reflect historic neighborhoods. The numbers assigned to districts have changed from maps presented to the public in December, but the areas remain the same. They are District 1, city center north of Wilshire Boulevard; District 2, north of Montana Avenue; District 3, Wilshire corridor; District 4, mid-city area; District 5, Pico Boulevard neighborhood; District 6, Sunset Park, and District 7, Ocean Park.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday February 25, 1990 Home Edition Westside Part J Page 4 Column 3 Zones Desk 2 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Council elections--In a digest item in last week's Westside section, supporters of an initiative drive to change City Council elections in Santa Monica from at-large to districts incorrectly decribed the options for incumbent Councilman Herb Katz, if the initiative is successful. In 1992, Katz will either have to move into one of the four districts up for election or sit out until 1994 when the Sunset Park district in which he currently lives is up for election.

Three council members up for reelection in 1992--purely by coincidence CURE representatives say--live in three of the four districts that would be up for election. They would be Ken Genser in District 1, Dennis Zane in District 3 and Judy Abdo in District 7.

The fourth council member, Herb Katz, lives in Sunset Park, which would not be up for district election until 1994. Under the proposal, Katz could run at-large in 1992 for a two-year term, and then seek election to the district seat two years later for a full four-year term.

District 5, the predominantly minority Pico neighborhood, also would be up for election in 1992. One of the objectives of district elections is to improve the chances for electing the city's first Latino council member from the Pico neighborhood, group officials said.

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