BREAKING: Anaheim Approves Settlement of ACLU Suit

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Note: You can read an updated version of this story by clicking here.

Anaheim voters will decide in November whether to create a council districts electoral system and add two additional members to the City Council, under a settlement agreement approved by the council Tuesday evening.

The settlement, approved unanimously, effectively ends a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and Latino activists, which argued that the city’s at large voting system disenfranchises Latino voters.

(Click here to read the settlement.)

Under the new system, if approved by voters, council members would be elected by voters from a specific geographic area, which the activists and ACLU lawyers say would guarantee Latinos representation on the City Council.

“It is the right thing to do,” said Mayor Tom Tait, who has supported single-member districts. “But frankly, I’m disappointed that it took so long for us to get there.”

Councilwoman Kris Murray called the deal “a win for our citizens, for our residents, for the taxpayers of Anaheim.”

If voters end up approving district elections, the first vote under the new system would be in 2016.

The deal’s outline was reported by Voice of OC earlier today.

More details to come.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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