Launching a campaign includes many hurdles. First, deciding to run. Second, how to run. Filing papers – the first of many papers – with at least 20 signatures. Getting at least 20 signatures was easy and I submitted the recommended 30. The harder part was validating the signatures.
After filing candidate papers with the City Clerk, I received notification that my candidate papers did not qualify. With the help of friends, we researched the election code and the definition of “valid signatures”. The Registrar of Voters labeled three signatures as “wrong address”, even though these voters only moved to a new apartment within the same complex. Per the election code, as long as the street address matches the registration, the voter’s signature is still valid. The City Attorney read my letter advocating for these voters and qualified my candidate papers.
Per the City of Vallejo’s website, the council’s decision for District Elections attempts to: 1) remedy the “disenfranchisement of minority voters”; 2) provide “the opportunity [for minorities and other members of protected classes’] to have representation of their choosing at the local level”; and 3) allow “minority candidates (racial or political) …a better opportunity to be elected”.
By advocating for these voter’s registration status, community members who signed my candidate papers nominated a representative of their choosing and a minority candidate was allowed a better opportunity to be elected by displaying my name on the ballot. Now, I can truly represent all of District 6.
Vote for Helen Marie “Cookie” Gordon, Councilmember, District 6