A group of Hispanic voters that accuses the city of Pasadena of diluting its voting rights is asking that a political action committee with ties to the mayor turn over records of communications with voters. The PAC — Committee to Keep Pasadena Strong — has received funding from Mayor Johnny Isbell’s campaign coffers. It has been subpoenaed for records of communications with voters about local elections and Hispanic voters between 2013 and 2015, among other records, court documents show.
It’s the latest development in a lawsuit and conflict that has garnered national attention for being emblematic of modern voting rights battles.
In 2013, after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated part of the federal Voting Rights Act, Pasadena voters narrowly decided to replace the city’s system of eight single-member city council elections with six single-member races and two at-large contests, a move that had previously been deemed discriminatory by the U.S. Justice Department.