The Case Against Farmers Branch's Election Methods Will Move Forward
Last May, three Hispanic Farmers Branch residents filed a federal lawsuit over the way the city elects its council members. Currently, Farmers Branch holds at-large elections, and the plaintiffs want the city to elect its officials based on districts. As The Dallas Morning News pointed out a year ago, the suit "says the current at-large method of electing council members unlawfully dilutes the voting strength of Latino voters and denies them the right to vote on account of their race, color or ethnicity."
Well, today U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor denied Farmers Branch's attempts to keep the case from going to trial. The judge's order can be read in its entirety right here, courtesy Domingo Garcia, who helped the three plaintiffs bring the case last year. As Garcia notes in a missive he shot to every single media member in the DFW today: "Currently no Hispanics, African Americans, Asians or women serve on the council. The city continues to spend millions of dollars [on] losing court battles because of the policies of Tim O'Hare and his allies on the council." The trial will take place, as scheduled, on May 8 -- two days before O'Hare finds out whether or not he's the new mayor of Farmers Branch. --Robert Wilonsky