Public hearing on Nov. 14 will focus on district-based Council Member elections in Mission Viejo
The City Council on Tuesday, November 14 will host the first of five public hearings to discuss the City's interest in and the process for transitioning from at-large to district-based council member elections.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m., with the hearing starting sometime thereafter, in the City Hall Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center.
The hearings are in response to a demand letter from a Malibu-based law firm claiming Mission Viejo’s at-large elections violate the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 by causing vote dilution for the City's Latino residents.
The letter claims “racially polarized voting” is occurring and threatens litigation if the City declines to voluntarily convert to district-based elections for the City Council. Mission Viejo’s current at-large election system means electors from the entire City choose each member of the City Council. Alternately, a district-based election system commonly divides the City into separate districts, each with one councilmember who resides in the district selected by the electors living in that district.
Cities throughout California, including San Juan Capistrano, Lake Forest and Costa Mesa which transitioned to district-based elections, have increasingly faced legal challenges to their at-large systems of electing council members.
During the November 14 public hearing, residents will learn about the law and will be encouraged to weigh in on the composition of the districts and provide input regarding the content of draft maps and the proposed sequence of elections.
The City Council agenda will be posted by 5 p.m. Friday, November 10 at https://cityofmissionviejo.org/stream.
It's about time ! Residents should know that the City Council is made up of people who live in and represent their district, not some special interest somewhere else in the city or county.