Lakewood Election Maps: Winners & Losers
Lakewood Populist analyzes just which Council members stand the most to gain and lose from the newly proposed District Election maps.
LAKEWOOD, CALIF. — Proposed election maps guarantee that at least one current Council member won’t be in office much longer.
Lakewood City Council was forced to transition from at-large elections to district elections after receiving a letter on Nov. 30, 2020, from Attorney Kevin Shenkman. The letter claimed Lakewood’s at-large Council elections, in which the entire city votes for each Council member, violates the California Voting Rights Act. The law is written in such a way that any such lawsuit is virtually guaranteed to be successful against a municipality, which would be liable for attorney fees that could cost millions.
“We’re changing dynastic politicians in the city,” said Greg Slaughter, a 2017 Council candidate who had been in contact with Shenkman leading up to the letter.
The city’s contractor delivered three proposed maps that divide Lakewood into five Council districts.
The biggest winner is East Lakewood, which currently has no Council member residing in the region. Longtime Councilman Todd Rogers, who at 20 years has served the longest on Council, is another winner as he will face no challenge from fellow Council members in any of the proposed maps.
The loser will be one of four Council members, including two who live in close proximity to one another. Which Council member gets booted partly depends on which proposed map the Council picks.
“It’s going to be interesting to see which Council member...[will] cut another’s throat to stay in office,” Slaughter said.
Proposed map NDC 102
This map forces the two newest Council members, Ariel Pe and Vicki Stuckey, to face off against each other in District 3.
Proposed map NDC 103
This map forces the second-longest-serving Council members, Vice Mayor Steve Croft, to face off against the Council’s newest member. Stuckey was appointed to the Council in 2020 to replace the retiring Diane DuBois, and Stuckey also worked in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at the same time as Rogers, who served as Assistant Sheriff.
Proposed map NDC 104
This map is vastly different from the other two. It’s boundary lines are drawn to barely force Councilman Pe into facing off against Mayor Jeff Wood for District 4. The big winner here is Councilwoman Stuckey, who would find safety in District 3, which has to have a chunk of area just below District 4 in order to make this map work.
Get involved: Come to Tuesday’s District Election Map meeting
The City is holding the first of two public meetings on the proposed maps next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Citizens can view an interactive version of the maps online, and they can go to the city’s webpage for District Election information.
Citizens can also draw their own maps, but must do so before Oct. 29.
All Council members may be reached at email@example.com with questions or comments.
NOTE: Article originally published Oct. 24, 2021.