The special meeting to appoint Lodi’s District 4 City Council Member is tonight! More info here including location, time, and candidates.
The Lodi City Council has been working hard over the past month to fill the District 4 seat after Shakir Khan was removed from office. A special meeting will be held on March 29, 2023 at 7:00pm at the LOEL Senior Center (105 S Washington St, Lodi, CA 95240) to discuss the candidates, hear public comment, and possibly appoint a new Council Member. If more time is needed, another Special Meeting will be held on April 5, 2023 at 5:30pm at the Carnegie Forum.
Four eligible candidates were announced on Monday March 27th:
- Alexander Aliferis
- Diego Maldonado
- JoAnne L Mounce
- Ramon Yepez
Two of the four candidates ran for the District 4 City Council seat during the 2020 election. Ramon Yepez took second place and JoAnne Mounce took third place to Shakir Khan.
Former District 4 Council Member Shakir Khan appeared at the March 1st meeting to state he would be filing a federal lawsuit for his removal from office.
The next week on March 7th, the remaining Council Members decided to appoint the future District 4 Council Member instead of running a Special Election. An application was created and available from March 16th to March 24th on the official City of Lodi website. Social media posts were not created until the day before the application period closed, however.
District 4 encompasses the east side of Lodi. This area has a lot of crime, gang violence, and low income families who mostly speak Spanish at home.
The population of District 4 has been majority Hispanic (primarily Mexican) since its creation and redistricting. This was done purposefully by the City Council after MALDEF threatened to sue Lodi for having such a large Mexican population but never having a Mexican City Council Member. With the at-large election system, the entire city would vote and the candidates often came from the same area with the same background. The election in 2020 was a surprise because the Mexican candidate, Ramon Yepez, took second place to the Pakistani candidate, Shakir Khan, when there was only a 15% Asian population. Based on data from the 2022 redistricting, District 4’s population is 69% Hispanic, but 51% are voting age.
Now the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney are claiming Shakir Khan may have committed election fraud to steal the 2020 election. Mr. Khan has maintained his innocence since the first charges were made.