A big change in Pomona coming: John Nolte received 1,537 votes and beat out incumbent Danielle Soto (793 votes); Debra Martin won with 1,419 votes; and Measure T (that was backed by the Pomona Police Officer’s Association to wipe out district for at-large elections) was defeated with 11,869 voting No and 10,028 yes. This latter vote was a big victory. Measure T sought to turn back the will of
the people in Pomona who, back in 1990, after law suits were filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Southwest Voter Registration Project, voted to scrap citywide elections in favor of single-member districts to bolster minority representation, to facilitate more direct communication between the voters and their representatives, and to reduce the costs of running for city council seats. The voters voted in this way at that time, also to stop the reality that, although Pomona had changed demographically to over 50% in ethnic minorities in the city, only two members of racial or ethnic minorities, up until 1986, had ever been elected to the council in the city’s 99-year history. With Tuesday’s vote, the Pomona voters ensured the continuance of a progressive legacy that other cities are now seeking to replicate. They voted to not allow the exclusion of candidates who may have limited resources, to not allow a handful of interest groups to control, and to not waste the taxpayer’s hard-earned funds in defending an outdated Measure that would have undoubtedly ended up in the courts had it been passed.