Rancho San Juan Lives
Latino Voting Rights group kills second slow-growth measure.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
County Supervisors this week pulled Measure C off the June ballot, citing Voting Rights Act concerns. Grass-roots groups had collected some 15,000 signatures to stop the Butterfly Village home-and-golf-course development, a piece of the larger Rancho San Juan plan. They began gathering signatures shortly after an earlier Measure C initiative, in which 75 percent of voters rejected Rancho San Juan.
A day before the countywide election in which the original Measure C won, Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve a piece of the sprawling development. The new Measure C was a reaction to that vote.
On Tuesday, March 28, the Latino Voting Rights Coalition of Monterey County filed suit in federal court to keep Measure C off the June ballot—piggybacking on last week’s ruling by a federal judge that the General Plan initiative violated the Voting Right’s Act because it was not translated into Spanish.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Carlos Ramos, a member of the coalition said, “Regardless of the merits of the referendum, if it does not comply [with the Voting Rights Act] you must deny.”
Four of the five supervisors agreed, with Dave Potter dissenting, and voted to pull Measure C.
“We are being expected to comply with a court ruling before that ruling was made.” said Marjorie Kay, who circulated petitions to qualify Measure C. She’s referring to Padilla v., Lever, which was decided in late November 2005—after the Butterfly Villages petition was already filed with the court. In Padilla, the court ruled that in certain jurisdictions, recall petitions must be printed in English and Spanish.
“We think the Voting Rights Act is being very selectively invoked,” Kay said, pointing out that many of the candidates who filed petitions to run for office in Monterey County did not circulate their petitions in Spanish, including Assemblyman Simón Salinas and Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero.
Distance, in miles, from the city of Marina (Del Monte Boulevard and Reservation Road) to the nearest Wal-Mart.Source: Mapquest.com