AWARDS: Best and Worst of the Week —  The Charter Review Committee and Raj Chahal

By Robert Haugh

The Good —  The Leg Drop Award: The Charter Review Committee worked seriously and quickly to put a charter change for new districts on the ballot in March 2020. Kudos to them:

District 1:  Benjamin Cooley

District 2:  Steve Silva

District 3:  Christine Koltermann

District 4:  Kathy Almazol

District 5:  Suds Jain

District 6:  Steve Ricossa

At Large:  Rich Bonito

The Bad —  The Jabroni Award:

Councilman Raj Chahal ignored the work of the Charter Review Committee and wanted the Council to adopt six districts by ordinance. That’s not only illegal it’s politically dumb. Chahal wanted to take power away from Santa Clara voters. 


  1. Sorry J., I don’t agree with one word you said. Only racists look at everything as racial as a surgeon has an operative solution for most. With our city being so racially and culturally diverse, I believe this is the wrong direction. I believe the city needs to be more economically balanced. The balance between the Cities billion dollar businesses, high tech, and the building boom on the Northside points out there should be equity for the bedroom communities. I am also one that doesn’t look for a judge to help me with the correct decision.

    With our very large ethnic communities, I feel the best way to be fair and diverse is to vote. Perhaps the ALA should simply spend their outside money on a voting drive. Check the voting statistics.

  2. Regretfully, the answer to your query is not a settling one. It is anything but. Please see my response to Richard in this post. Measure C is simply an awful statement about Santa Clara and does not reflect who Santa Clarans are.
    Or, perhaps we’ll know when the votes are tallied.
    Vote No on Measure C.

  3. I think with the 49ers and others throwing a lot or money around, it is time again to keep an eye on our council members. It’s time to see who changes their opinion and sides with the money suddenly. Follow the money!

    In the past this was a very obvious issue and most were voted out, retired, or other. Plesse watch the votes that follow the money….

  4. Measure C must be defeated. It’s only purpose is to preserve the status quo. It is insidiously racist in its origin and application.
    The Council in July, 2019 selected 6 predominantly long time white residents, and but one Asian (in fact excluding representation of any other minorities whatsoever). The appointments followed a court finding Santa Clara elections discriminatory, made only shortly before.
    The composition of the Charter Review Committee is Exhibit A for the fact that “They Still Don’t Get it,” when the City is sued yet again. As the Council likely knew when picking the white people’s committee, the Committee adopted what is now Measure C by a 5-2 vote with the sole Asian, Suds Jain, along with Christine Kolterman dissenting.
    Racist in application is even easier to explain. Six districts, as ordered by the court makes campaigning less expensive which thereby attracts more candidates to run and thereby lessens the influence of special interest and/or dark money. No apparent rationale is offered by proponents for three districts on the merits because, logically, there are none vs. six districts. If you don’t have a meritorious argument for initiating a measure which is more likely to exclude minorities as opposed to six districts, it’s reasonable to conclude that exclusion is purposeful racism.
    Look. Racism can be insidious, as here, or overt. Think, if you will, the cobra (insidious), vs the rattler (overt). Rattlers as easy to identify and their bite easily remedied. Cobras are a difficult to spot but their venom deadly. The cobras here spout, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body”! “Some of my best friends…”! Blah. Blah. Blah.
    Calling out racism may be uncomfortable but it is, as here, essential.
    Vote No on Measure C.

  5. I’m not sure why the City council wants to keep fighting the judges ruling on this issue. Do you think he really meant for this order to just be in place until 2020. I think the right thing to do is vote on two options. Do we the citizens in Santa Clara want 3 districts or 6. I mean that would the easiest way to do it.

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