When I was running for the San Antonio city council a couple of years ago, I discovered that the city had apparently violated the one-person, one-vote requirement in its Charter to the detriment of the Northside citizens when it redistricted following the 2010 census. During the campaign I tried to make this a big issue because it exemplified how (a) minorities in San Antonio (Anglo northsiders) were being shortchanged by the majority (Hispanic south and westsiders), and (b) the city was becoming like a banana republic in its disregard for Charter constraints. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the resources to create a “big issue,” and the media was not interested.
After the election, I tried to get city officials to fix the redistricting, but the mayor and my councilman ignored me, and although the asst. city attorney admitted that the redistricting was problematic, she refused to do anything about it. That left my only recourse a lawsuit.
For months, I procrastinated about filing the suit myself, but I wasn’t confident of my litigation skills, so I found a lawyer at my gym who was willing to take on the matter for a discounted fee. I gave him the money a year ago, but because of numerous distractions he didn’t get around to filing the lawsuit in state court until a couple of months ago. Then, just as we were preparing to filing a Motion for Summary Judgment, the City removed the lawsuit to federal court, probably because the vast majority of Bexar County judges are Republicans based in and sympathetic to the Northside. The City might have also been concerned that a Republican judge would halt the current council/mayoral election.
In any event, we are now litigating to return the lawsuit to state court. In my opinion, the city’s attempt to make a federal case out of this lawsuit is not only wrong, but also frivolous.
Time will tell.