Dan Borenstein column for the Mercury News:
Cities and school districts across California are facing legal ultimatums: Convert from at-large elections to balloting by district, or risk spending millions of dollars on litigation.
Some jurisdictions are fighting back. But most are capitulating, resulting in a radical revamping of the political process that proponents say will improve the voting power of minority groups.
“It’s really changing the nature of representation in California,” says Richard Hasen, election expert at the UC Irvine Law School. “Many of us think of California as post-racial, but, on the ground, that’s not what we really see.”