All council members were present for the Tuesday, Sept. 1 City Council meeting. Open session started at 6:02 p.m. and ended at 9:29 p.m. Here are the highlights:
Council passes on reconsideration of By-District elections. After two years of debates, lawsuits, workshops, map proposals, motions, and reconsideration of motions, By-District elections are here to stay. The main item of the night was discussed for only 1 minute as seemingly there was nothing the council could do at this point. According to the staff report, “The election materials for Carson pursuant to Ordinance No. 20-2008 are well underway and it is not possible at this point to go back to at-large voting for the 2020 election.” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear motion to receive and file the item passed with a 3-2 vote with Councilmembers Lula Davis-Holmes and Cedric Hicks voting in opposition.
Carson celebrates 100-year anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. The council listened to a presentation regarding the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment and celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote. “This item is too important just to approve it under consent,” said Councilmember Lula Davis-Holmes asking for the presentation to be made, “this is the 100th anniversary and a consent item does not do it justice.” The 19th amendment prohibited states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens based on sex and was ratified on August 18, 1920. This law did not give extend to women of color however, as they were not given rights to suffrage until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Councilmember Cedric Hicks who was born in 1962, recollected that his mother did not have the right to vote until 55 years ago. “This [The Voting Rights Act] should not be an act but an actual law,” stated Hicks.
New transportation services offered through dial a ride program. City staff announced an additional discounted taxi service based on the LYFT discount program, after the company announced possibly shutting down operations in California. During the meeting, the council approved an amendment to an agreement made in April with Yellow Cab (Administrative Service Cooperative, Inc.) which operates the City’s Dial-A-Ride program. From July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023 the “traditional” Dial-A-Ride program will be open to all Carson residents of any age and demand hotlines will be available for residents to get anywhere within the City. Dial-A-Ride will take customers to medical and social facilities outside of the city as well. City Manager, Sharon Landers, shared that the program is funded through monies appropriated through Proposition A.
Up to $40,000 allocated for Census events. In an effort to increase Census participation, the council approved appropriations of $40,000 to fund two Census events. The money will be used for the “Census Count Drive Thru” on Sep. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center and the “Census Count Caravan” on Sep. 25. Initially, the city was considering $10,000 but Mayor Al Robles increased the amount to $40,000 to match funds being used to inform resident on the Sales Tax Measure. The Census Ad Hoc committee run by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Dear and Councilmember Jawane Hilton will come back next council meeting with suggestions and a report. Mayor Robles reminded everyone that the 2020 Census needs to be done by end of the month. Fill yours out today: CaliforniaCensus.org.
Safe Havens for students seeking Wi-Fi for remote classroom learning to be provided in Carson parks and some Churches. City parks will provide free Wi-Fi and a safe haven for disenfranchised students to do remote learning. After Councilmember Jawane Hilton shared the viral video of two young students sitting outside a Taco Bell parking lot to access Wi-Fi and complete their homework, City Manager Sharon Landers announced the project and that she would be using funds allowed under her authority in an effort to have the service ready by the end of the month. Councilmember Lula Davis-Holmes directed the Disaster Council come back at the next council meeting with funding strategies either through the CARES Act or local sources like Measure H for a Homeless Education Initiative to assist disenfranchised students who cannot purchase laptops.
Upcoming Food Giveaways:
Summer Grab N Go will give out over 300 meals on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 9-11 a.m. at TriStone Missionary Baptist church parking lot.
Rich Chicks and the Carson Citizens Cultural Arts Foundation will be giving away 750 boxes of food and Census information to Carson residents only on Friday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Carson Community Center.
Councilman Jawane Hilton has partnered with local pastors to give away food in bulk for organizations in need. Preferences will be given to houses of worship. Call Councilman Hilton’s office to find out more.