By Robert Haugh
Tonight, Councilman Anthony Becker has put an item on the agenda. It’s just one line:
“Discussion and Action on Councilmember Becker’s request to Prepare a Public Apology to the Residents of Santa Clara for the CVRA Lawsuit”
After we printed yesterday’s City Council preview, we got a lot of questions about it. Mostly people want to know “what for?”
That’s a good question. Becker hasn’t provided any information. The City staff makes “no recommendation.”
According to multiple sources, Becker is frequently inaccessible. He doesn’t respond to requests from the staff or the public.
Becker does work full-time. But still, he should at least do his homework. It’s the day of the meeting and no one knows what he’s talking about.
In 2019, when Judge Thomas Kuhnle determined that there was “racially polarized” voting in Santa Clara, most people in town were surprised by that.
Santa Clara voters are not racist. We live in a diverse community without segregated neighborhoods.
Does Becker want the City to apologize for being racist when it isn’t? We doubt Becker has talked to Santa Clara residents about this.
Kuhnle had to lower the standard threshold to come up with the conclusion that race plays a role in Santa Clara elections. That’s one of the reasons the City appealed the decision.
We’re glad the City did. The City Council majority stood up for Santa Clara voters.
But the Appeals Court sided with Kuhnle. He happens to be a Palo Alto resident who probably hasn’t spent much time in the Mission City.
Another problem with Kuhnle’s decision is that he had to create six districts to get districts small enough for Asian candidates to win.
Each Councilmember only represents about 20,000 people. If San Jose had the same size districts, they would have 50 council districts. Wow.
Small districts may help some people get elected. It probably helped Becker. But not as much as the 49ers’ Jed York’s $3 million check helped him.
Last year, an affordable housing leader told us there will be little affordable housing built in Santa Clara because of the smaller districts.
That person called back after the El Camino Real plan was downsized and said I told you so. Guess who was the swing vote. Yup. Becker.
Maybe Becker will want the City to apologize for that, too.