Blair's Magazine of Lost History | Charlottesville, Virginia |

Single-Shot Vote for Kenneth Jackson. Wednesday September 20, 2017. (Comment)

Single-shot vote for Kenneth Jackson in November for Charlottesville City Council. Facebook campaign site.

Has anyone other than local Rob Schilling ever won this way? YES. Happens all the time in diluted systems, which are illegal under Voting Rights Act. Bob Fenwick failed in 2009 as an independent, but was later elected by the one-party system. "Fenwick says single shot voting will be "absolutely" crucial to him getting elected. "The technique was used in the '50s during massive resistance– blacks used it to maximize their vote," he says." Source.

Is there another City Council just like Charlottesville's? YES. Tignall, Wilkes County, Georgia tried to stop single-shot or bullet-voting, to maintain power of existing citywide majority and lock out the 43% voting minority, which happens to be black. If the political minority was white, the same federal law would apply. DOJ disallowed the "reform."

"[Tygnall's] five-member council is elected at large by plurality vote to four-year concurrent terms. Prior to 1999, only one member of the city council was black. [...]

"Based on our analysis of the available information, it appears that voting in Tignall is racially polarized and that minority voters under the existing system have achieved some success by limiting the number of votes that they cast for city council seats in order to elect their candidate of choice. This technique is referred to as **single-shot voting.** Under the proposed system, each seat on the council that is up for election will be identified as a separate post and candidates will compete against one another for that specific post. This will eliminate the opportunity minority voters have had under the existing system to boost the effectiveness of their vote for their preferred candidate through single-shot voting. [...]

"It appears, therefore, that the city's proposed addition to its at-large election system of numbered posts, a majority vote requirement and staggered terms will lead to a worsening of minority electoral opportunity, which is prohibited by Section 5. See Beer v. United States, 425 U.S. 130, 141 (1976)."
Dept. of Justice Determination Letter 53.

"The strategy is an election mathematics trick. The goal for a single-shot candidate is to get core supporters to cast only one vote in the race and persuade others to split their votes between the candidate and an opponent. That maximizes the candidate’s own numbers and dilutes the opponents’ numbers."
Art of the single shot: How less can mean more when voters get to choose two.

"In Arizona, two representatives serve each legislative district. By choosing to vote only for me, and not using your second vote, it helps your vote go farther. The Single Shot Strategy has proven effective in allowing us to overcome the Democratic voter registration deficit in the past. It enables us to virtually ensure that at least one Democrat is elected to the State House — the only way the moderate values of our district are represented in a balanced way."
What's this Single Shot thing anyway? Kelli Butler for Arizona October 12, 2016.

"It is virtually impossible," says Rob Schilling. "The last independent elected was in 1936. These elections are rigged to favor Democrats."
Single Shot: Can Independent Win Council Seat? Oct. 27, 2009.

More on Charlottesville's Broken City Council.

More about Kenneth Jackson from The Hook 2004. "He's African American. He's gay. He lives in Section 8 housing. So why is Kenneth Jackson running for City Council as a Republican? Jackson doesn't put too much stock in political parties."
Hot Seat: Kenneth Jackson Not Your Stereotypical Republican. Feb. 19, 2004.

2004 Retrospective from Charlottesville Independent Media.

City Council was running scared. A single Republican (Rob Schilling) had won two years earlier. The commission to study ward-mayor system passed 3 to 1 on April 6 at 2:03 am. [...]

Single-Shot Vote Elected Rob Schilling 2002. Thursday August 24, 2017.

Bullet voting is not a magic bullet to slay the At-Large dragon. It doesn't fix the broken system. But it can make the difference in a close race.

Single Member Districts. The most common worldwide. One man/one vote/one office.

Plurality Voting = most votes win. Usually more than 2 candidates are running for one office.

Runoff Voting = Absolute Majority of votes needed to win. The 2 highest vote-getters have a second "runoff" vote.

Voter-Diluted Systems. The majority elects all the representatives. The minority has no voice. At-Large is only one way to reduce the voting power of the electorate.

Single-Shot Voting is a tactic where voting minorities unify against the majority, who always choose all the reps.

"Candidates may seek to encourage bullet voting in certain situations. One example is where there is a Bloc voting election for two seats of the same office, and there are several candidates (say A, B, and C). Voters in such a situation typically have two votes.

"Candidate A encourages his voters to vote only for him and not use their second vote. If the second vote is cast for B or C, it helps A's opponents. The situation is most pronounced where A is of one party and B and C are of another party. If voters from B and C's party vote for them, while A's partisans cast one vote for A and split their second vote between B and C, A is significantly disadvantaged."

Single-Shot Vote = Bullet Vote = Under-voting = Vote for only one of several redundant offices (or concentrate on less than the full slate to offset the dilution).

Single-shot requires a diluted system where one man/one vote/one office is violated. In Charlottesville you have 1 man/5 votes/1 office. You have 5 people who have the same job. In U.S. Senate you have 1 man/2 votes/1 office. You have 2 people with the same job.

Why is it good to have 2 senators but bad to have 5 city councilors?

Your state is a small part of the whole, like a precinct. You increase your influence in Congress when you add reps from your state. If you increase national reps, say you elect 5 presidents, that would dilute the Congress, and every state and district would lose influence.

One way to view Charlottesville is we have 5 presidents and no senators. 5 people represent the whole city. Nobody represents any part of the city, precinct or neighborhood.

So city councilors address outside issues like city-county, state, national and international issues with resolutions and funding requests. Meanwhile internal issues are ignored. The councilors ask the public to attend every meeting so councilors can learn their concerns. There are town hall meetings because City Council is out of touch.

We Will Lose Our Voting Rights. Wednesday August 23, 2017.

(A) Would you rather have 2 council members represent your neighborhood, your precinct? A diversity of small groups (precincts) to balance against the citywide majority?
(B) 9 councilors represent the whole city, no neighborhood, no precinct = 9 Mayors from the one party, where the voting minorities (neighborhoods) have no seat at city council?

Everybody knows City Council is broken. Monday August 21, 2017.
(Comment on Facebook)

Everybody knows City Council is broken but they don't know how it's broken. Often efforts to reform fail until a big moment gives you new energy. In 2002 Kevin Cox failed to get Elected School Board THEN superintendent Scottie Griffin affair THEN the 2005 effort was successful. We can't fix our broken City Council from within. A minority cannot out-vote the majority AND the minority has no vote.

Since the Jim Crow system was adopted 1924, several reform efforts have failed. NAACP 1981-82. An entire commission tried in 2004. In 2006 elected school board was an opportunity for inclusion. We need outside help from the President Donald J. Trump's Department of Justice to enforce 1965 Civil Rights Act which prohibits Voter Dilution of political minorities, usually same as ethnic minorities. Why does Charlottesville get a free pass?

Because of this weird system, instead of a university professor sharing this knowledge to the community, you have nobodies like me, the voting minorities trying to make a difference. Carol Thorpe feels like she's wasting her time because she's outside of the majority. That's the core feature of the system. But she cares and is motivated.

That's nihilism (you care but nothing you do matters). Very destructive emotion sweeping the nation.

How To Fix Charlottesville's Broken City Council. Wednesday August 16, 2017.

The latest spin-off of Blair Hawkins' one-man 17-year anti-urban renewal campaign kicks off. It's the latest of several campaigns since the 1920s in the community to fix the broken city council.

Not only was the Robert E. Lee statue installed near the end of the Golden Age of Race Relations. This well-known majority-only system was meant to silence the 40% black population at the time. The system silences any political minorities. Most commonly today it's Latinos who are shut out from participation.

Why is Voter Dilution allowed?

Selective prosecution maybe. Political patronage. Charlottesville is not just any town. We're the Capital of the Resistance. We knew this was a bad system. Civics 101. Also mayors and lawsuits opposed it but it was adopted anyway in mid-1920s. The Klan were bad people. We've been trying to fix it ever since. 1981-1982 NAACP tried. 2004 Commission on Representation tried. 2006 was opportunity for elected school board to have Non-Diluted Representation, or Proportional Representation. (Source)

You will be overwhelmed by the information on Wikipedia about systems of representation. But the Department of Justice already knows all about it. DOJ has been prosecuting other cities who have the same relic from Klan days.

Department of Justice Search Results for Voting Dilution.

The Voting Rights Act addresses the scheme of direct democracy to exclude voting minorities, often the same as ethnic minorites. The system has many names. The promise was to run things efficiently like a business. It's a magic system where your legislative opposition disappears.

If Congress had the same system, bills would sail through without effort. Republicans would not have to deal with political minorities such as the Democrats.

Voter Dilution Tactic — Broken City Councils.

Yakima, WA is one-third Latino, but a Latino candidate has not been elected to the city council for almost 40 years. Santa Barbara, CA is 38 percent Latino, but only one Latino has been elected to its council in the last 10 years. And Pasadena, TX is 43 percent Hispanic, but the ethnic group is not even close to being proportionately represented in the city government. (Cities Are Quietly Reviving A Jim Crow Era Trick To Suppress Latino Votes.)

1965 Voting Rights Act applies to entire nation....except Section 5 is like a probation order, certain really bad localities must be pre-approved for any change. Charlottesville is in that list.

Department of Justice knows all about it. We ask President Donald J. Trump why Charlottesville is given a pass. 15th Amendment of 1870 expanded federal government's power to ensure the right to vote of American citizens (freed slaves) was not infringed by the states. 1965 Voting Rights Act applies to localities as well. Section 2 addresses Vote Dilution, where At-Large is only one type.

Roaming Townhall Latest Patch For At-Large. May 21, 2017.

"The first townhall was Thursday Aug. 12, 2010 at Tonsler Park, a year after its sponsor Councilor Kristin Szakos called for removal of confederate monuments as a way to end division and bring the minorities back to the ever-shrinking majority.

"So the townhall is at least the 9th effort since 2002 to address the unresponsiveness of local government."

Includes timeline of the 9 efforts and previous efforts.

History of Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.

"In 1922 the elected Mayor B.E. Wheeler "obtained a court order and tried to prevent the new commissioners from taking over, but eventually gave in. [...] E.G. Haden, mayor 1908 to 1912 and 1916 to 1920, also opposed the direct democracy government. The change was slow because of substantial opposition.

"Ironically some said real estate was the ulterior motive for the business-like government. Today we know this change enabled the widespread urban renewal stealing of real estate from the voting minorities stripped of representation on Council."

Blair Hawkins.

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