(Anahaim, Calif. 1/14/14) – The Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) welcomes a lawsuit settlement that paves the way for a citywide vote on a new election system in the city of Anaheim.
The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2012 on behalf of three residents, contended that the current at-large voting system in Anaheim prevented candidates from the majority Latino population from winning. Per the current system, representatives do not have to live in the districts they represent. Anaheim is the largest city in California with an at-large voting system for the selection of local representatives.
The settlement calls for a proposition on the November ballot that would give voters the opportunity to approve a district elections system, in which elected officials must live in the neighborhoods they represent.
“Placing this question on the ballot will allow Anaheim residents to decide how they want to be represented,” said Haroon Manjlai, public affairs coordinator for CAIR-LA. “District elections will afford residents the opportunity to elect a leader from their own neighborhood to represent them at city hall, a leader who understands their issues.”
CAIR-LA plans to work with the Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO) and the Islamic Institute of Orange County—Anaheim’s largest mosque congregation—to help educate members of the area’s Muslim community on the district elections system. This plan is part of a larger coalition effort spearheaded by OCCCO.
“We look forward to educating community members and getting out the vote on this important measure,” said IIOC Imam Mohammed Faqih.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.