This Post is brought to you by the letter “P”.
It took 3 Posts to complete, but this will finally do it. The official argument against P you can find here. It’s only one double-spaced page long and is packet with whoppers meant to deceive Eureka’s voters. It’s signed by Council-members current and former Brady, Newman and Ciarabellini and current Supervisor Bohn.You can find the Previous two Posts on P here and here.
Now let’s look at the final Paragraph.
“In our population of 27,000 with 15,000 registered voters, of which about 3,000 reside in each ward, with and average of 60% voting per election, a mere 900 (50%+1) people could elect one councilmember. The remaining 9,000 voters HAVE NO SAY in who represents them.”
So, not only is this an untruth ITS A CAPSLOCK UNTRUTH, which must mean something. Is this the equivalent of them sitting us voters down and shaking their fingers at us while telling us this whopper in hopes that we ignore the veracity of what they are saying? Who knows.
But here is the Point. Those 9,000 voters ABSOLUTELY have a say in who represents them. They have one vote for their representative each 4 years AND they have an additional vote for the mayor every four years.
That 9,000 voters will “HAVE NO SAY” is a misleading statement at best and from four People who absolutely know better, it is with a clear conscience that I call this statement a lie meant to deceive voters.
Verdict: That “The remaining 9,000 voters HAVE NO SAY in who represents them.”
3 CAPSLOCK TRUMPS
The saddest thing is returning democracy to a human scale of a district of a couple of thousand voters is exactly the reason why I and many others are for measure P. It’s also why Mayor Jäger’s statement that Measure P is undemocratic that was uncritically re-printed today in the Times-Standard turns the truth of Measure P on it’s head.
With Measure P 900 People could vote in a their representative. That is an amazing and Positive aspect of local elections and local democracies. But there is more.
Using their number, let’s say Eureka has a population of 27,000. That is approximately 5,400 people per ward. The pool of eligible voters is about 71%* of 5,400 or 3,800 people and as the signers of this argument rightly point out, only 60%* of these eligible voters vote. That is 2,300. They then half this number to get their number of 900 voters voting one council-member, my number would be 1,150.
Our numbers differ slightly because they use 60% of registered numbers. I’m using 60% of eligible voters. But this doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that we would agree there are 3,800 potential voters in each ward and that only a fraction of these even register to vote.
The Power of P is that this human-scale representation where the voter will make a difference election-after-election as 1 vote in 1,800 in a bad year or 1 vote in 3,800 if we can get 100% of eligible voters to vote.
And I hope we all agree we would want to approach full participation in our elections. Measure P helps us to get to more voter Participation, not less. I believe that is why People who don’t support P want you to vote against it. They know their influence will decrease, and Part of the reason is that voter in each ward will have one familiar and accessible councilmember who will not be beholden to the other 4/5’s of the city (or 4 x 2,300 = 9,200 voters). That councilmember will be dependent only on the registered voters in her district to get re-elected.
That is a selling point for those People who feel disenfranchised. I believe Measure P with 5 times the access they once had to any given representative will help motivate more People to become Part of our democracy again. I believe that the tag line for No On P voters to not “Throw away their votes” with “votes” in the Plural only Proves that the campaigners against P do not want their voters to give up on their out-sized influence.
P brings Power closer to the People. That’s not something that the campaigners against P want. They just can’t say that in Public.
*References and More Numbers:
Remember, despite what Mayor Jäger and others will tell you, Measure P is a voting rights issue. To find out why, take a look at this video.
Also, I’ve used numbers from this video to come up with the Percent of the Population nationwide which is now eligible to vote (71%) and the Percent of this Population that currently votes (60%). That means to estimate the number of voters Eureka has city wide we would be taking the number of People (27,000) then multiplying by 0.71 then by 0.60 to estimate the number of Eureka voters on a good year. This theoretical number is 12,798. In the Presidential election year of 2012 the actual number was 10,199 (see page 3) and in the mid-period election of 2014 Eureka had 7,397 voters (page 9).