Huntington Beach Takes On District Elections

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Over the past decade, Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman has either sued or threatened to sue school districts and cities across Southern California for what he says is violation of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001, which seeks to help minority voters. His solution? District elections, which have popped up across Orange County in the past couple of years by judicial edict or voluntarily. But not so fast, says Huntington Beach city attorney Michael Gates. He has responded to Shenkman's request that Huntington Beach drop its at-large elections by maintaining that not only will HB not comply, but that they're willing to fight it out in court. If Huntington Beach does come out triumphant, it'll be the first time any California municipality would have fended off one of Shenkman's district-election lawsuit—does Gates have a chance?



Benjamin Gottlieb