All council members were present for the Tuesday, Jan. 18 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:01 p.m. and ended at 11:49 p.m. Here's what you missed:
Two draft maps presented at Redistricting Public Hearing. The council held the first public hearing on council redistricting where Bear Demographics showcased two draft maps. On August 4, 2020 City Council adopted an ordinance which changed municipal elections from 'At-Large' to 'Districted' voting, ultimately splitting City Council seats to four separate districts with the Mayor’s seat remaining at large. However, the City will need to re-evaluate its council boundaries every ten years with the release of the decennial Census to ensure that each councilmember represents around the same number of constituents among the 95,994 total population in the City. Both draft maps that the demographer presented would raise the total deviation above current council boundaries (but below legal limit of 10%). The council asked the demographer to bring back a 3rd draft map with a total deviation less than current council boundaries. Listed below are images of the maps and the demographic profile of each draft map as presented by Bear Demographics.
Draft Map #1:
Draft Map #2:
*Note: All redistricting workshops have been moved to zoom as a precaution of the Omicron variant until further notice.
City Council issue $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of murderer. The council approved the authorization of a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for the murder of 28-year-old Rodquece Beezer. “To the family, we want to let you know that we take this matter very seriously,” said Mayor Lula Daivs-Holmes, “To our residents who may have seen something, please say something. We want to bring this to a closure and we can only do that by finding out who took this young man's life.” Anybody with relevant information is asked to call the sheriff’s homicide bureau at (323) 890-5564. Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
California State University, Dominguez Hills indicates location for 180 Town and Gown Banners. The city is about to add a lot of banners with one message in mind: Calfornia State University, Dominguez Hills is the City of Carson's University. CSUDH's Associate Vice President for Communications & Marketing, Myla Edmond, presented to the Council designs and possible locations for 180 banners to be raised as part of the Town and Gown Promise. The Town and Gown Promise, an agreement which seeks to strengthen the operational relationship between the City and University, was signed in July 2021. According to Edmond, the banners will reflect the school's and city's diverse community of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and academic pursuits. Banners will be mainly constructed on Avalon Blvd, Victoria St., and Carson St.
Mayor Pro Tem Jawane Hilton explained that CSUDH will be hosting a "City of Carson Night" on Feb. 3 as part of the Town and Gown Promise at the Torodome. Carson residents can enjoy free tickets to the event and enjoy women's and men's basketball games among other activities.
CSUDH staff later indicated that spring semester will begin over zoom with the intention of opening campus to students on Feb. 14.
Tesla Charging Station may be coming soon to Carson. In an effort to transform the City of Carson into a ‘Destination Spot’ and meet the City’s electronic vehicle charging needs, the council will decide in the imminent future whether to allow a Tesla charging station be built. Project Developer for the charging infrastructure, David Sacci, presented to the council a plan to bring a state of the line 20 dock tesla vehicle fast-charging station to the Carson Civic Center. According to Sacci, the proposed station would be the fastest EV charging station in the area, at 250-kilowatt output which would fully charge a Tesla in about 30 minutes. Not only would the construction and maintenance of the station be completely covered by Tesla and not cost the city any money, Sacci also claimed that during that charging period, drivers could bring extra foot traffic to local Carson businesses as they wait. Unfortunately, the charging station does not charge other electronic vehicles and would occupy 20 parking spaces in the Civic Center for Tesla vehicles only. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes instructed city staff to create an agenda item at the next meeting for the council’s consideration.
Council agree to challenge SB 9 by signing letter supporting ‘Our Neighborhood Voices’ Initiative. The City of Carson is preparing to retain control of its land-use powers by taking a stand against senate bill 9. SB9 (Atkins) allows up to four dwellings to be built on almost any lot currently zoned for a single-family residence, which critics of the bill claim would essentially eliminate single family zoning in California. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes asked her colleagues in signing a letter to support the initiative made by a Los Angeles-based organization, Our Neighborhood Voices, which would prevent the state from intervening in local zoning decisions and restore local land use control. All of the other councilmembers agreed to add their names to the letter.
During the summary portion of closed session items, City Attorney Sunny Soltani added that the Council authorized a lawsuit to challenge SB 9 as going beyond its stated intentions.
Residents can receive 4 in-home COVID testing kits for free from the federal government. The Biden administration is allowing people to order free at-home COVID tests up to four per household. Councilmember Arleen Rojas asked about take home tests for City staff during the COVID update portion of the meeting, which prompted Director of Community Services, Robert Lennox, to share the information to the public. Any United States resident can order 4 free COVID test kits per household by vising either www.special.usps.com or www.covidtest.gov . Lennox mentioned that these free kits would not be suitable to clear City employees of COVID as they would still need a signed document from a valid doctor to go to work.