LULAC against hospital election lawsuit

The new support services building is up and running now.

The League of United Latin American Citizens wants to make it clear – it is not involved with a redistricting lawsuit against the health care district and opposes the action.
Local LULAC official Mickie Solorio Luna told the Free Lance that the organization – which has pushed for district elections in other cases where it felt Latinos were underrepresented – was already working with Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital – and the health care district overseeing it – on a solution for the at-large elections currently used to choose the five board members overseeing the district.
Three local residents represented by a Visalia law firm of former San Benito County District Attorney John Sarsfield filed the lawsuit claiming “vote dilution” due to lacking districts and requested the district to immediately move to a new election format and have current board members depart.
Luna said the group had been working with the hospital for about eight months at the time of the suit’s filing two weeks ago.
“They had agreed this is the way we’re going to go,” Luna said. “That doesn’t mean we would not file something in court. It means that we just don’t go ahead and file lawsuits like this.”
Health care district Board Chairman Gordon Machado said the hospital district supports the change and has started the process to implement it.
“The hospital district at the last board meeting – we went out for proposals for three different demographers,” Machado said.

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