SELMA, California (KSEE/KGPE) — Some voters are up in arms with the first draft of proposed Selma City Council districts up for public comment. While the proposed districts cover the entire city, some worry certain areas will be ignored in representation.
The main concern for Theresa Salas is all of Selma City Council and the mayor live on the east side of Selma — which is the more affluent side of town. She said the city has had a problem of getting elected leaders out of the western side, where more low-income areas are.
“I feel like the five areas that are drawn only benefit those five council members who are currently on the council,” Salas said.
Salas and other residents voiced their concerns at Tuesday’s city council meeting — arguing the proposed districts will keep Selma’s power dynamic on wealthier neighborhoods.
Mayor Scott Robertson said the consultant, National Demographics Corporation (NDC), created their drafts from public input. Also, to not throw out duly elected leaders.
“It is not an exercise to arbitrarily throw two people, or one person, out of office. Those who’d been elected,” Robertson said.
The city still has the rest of the month to finalize the districts. Salas is worried, though, since city council has final say.
“If they don’t like it, they don’t have to vote on it,” she said. “I am very curious to see how it turns out.”
The final draft of the districts will be on the city’s website on Sept. 30. It’ll then be voted on by Oct. 7.
All public comment is open and welcomed until then. To get your voice heard, you can attend the next city council meeting on Sept. 16. You can also draw your own map as a suggestion, but you’ll have to follow the legal requirements outlined in this document (skip to page 30).
You can go through the different districts through this interactive map.