District Voting in Costa Mesa?

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The District Voting wave has hit the shores of Costa Mesa. In addition to the OC cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, and Garden Grove all falling into District Voting lines , you can now add Costa Mesa jumping into those waters.

Costa Mesa Precincts

In response to a letter from the Rubin Law firm threatening possible litigation for violations of the CA Voters Rights Act, the City has put on the agenda a plan for moving forward with District Voting. At the next City Council meeting Tuesday April 19th, on the agenda is a PLAN FOR COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN CREATION OF DISTRICT BOUNDARIES FOR DISTRICT ELECTIONS. Naturally the devil will be in the details. But…..

Allan Minuteman MansoorThis is a huge pendulum swing for a City that, just a decade ago,was the first in the nation to authorize its local police to enforce federal immigration law.  Ever since Allan Mansoor ran for City Council in 2005, on the Anti-Cucaracha Truck Train, Latinos in the City have suffered under a yoke of “otherness”.   The City’s “MinuteMan” Mayor Mansoor held fundraisers featuring anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arapio , and canoodled with and embraced racists like Jim Gilchrist and the late Barbara Coe.

The City of Costa Mesa was under a banner of institutionalized racism , and the Latino community has suffered greatly for it. Specific racial profiling from the local police has a way of making a vibrant segment of a community hunker down. Has the City’s intolerant views towards a 34% segment of the population created a climate of voter intimidation…….? Certain experienced Law experts and Voting rights activists sure think so.

So what’s next? By law, a minimum of three public meetings must be held, but as of right now,…….we haven’t even voted on moving ahead with this plan, and we won’t even know if we will, until after the Council vote on the 19th.  Then we have to have the community meetings (3 minimum) and the maps drawn out.  Which took Anaheim about a year.  All of this needs to be considered in creating districts: (1) topography; (2) geography; (3) cohesiveness, continuity, integrity, and compactness of territory; and (4) community of interest of the districts.  All of this has to be accomplished by August 12th to meet the Nov. Ballot deadline.

So currently, at the time of this posting, the tentative agreement is to move rapidly forward with the District Plan.  The Council majority could opt to ignore the agreement and face litigation under the CVRA.  Other options. such as, increasing the number of districts and voting for a Mayor at large currently are not included in the current agreement between the law firm and the City.  The majority of residents don’t even know that this is coming down the tracks.  It will be interesting moving forward with the tight timelines given and the difficult voting demographics the City has spread out.  How will a three person solid voting council cabal view this change?  Could rock their cozy boat a bit.  Many unanswered questions remain.  And….

There is the already insanely crowded Costa Mesa Ballot in a General Election to consider….just look at it!

  • Smart Growth Initiative
  • Council Backed Development Initiative to confuse Voters
  • $34 million dollar Library/Community Center Bond ( to replace an existing Library and Community Center)
  • $20 million dollar (“Put up or Shut up”) Righeimer blank check affordable housing bond
  • Marijuana Initiative 1
  • Marijuana Initiative 2
  • Monahan’s Marijuana Initiative 3 ?
  • Possible Fairview Park Preservation Measure (collecting signatures still)
  • Three Open Council Seats
  • District Voting w/ maps

……..and that’s just for the City.

There is a saying played during every single Council meeting that “There’s always something happening in Costa Mesa”…..and Boy! they aren’t kidding.

About Gericault

Our Costa Mesa correspondent, the son of an OC Farmer. Personal Qualities not Measured by Tests, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Resilience, Motivation, Persistence, Curiosity, Question Asking, Humor, Endurance, Reliability, Enthusiasum, Civic-Mindedness, Self-Awareness, Self-Discipline, Empathy, Leadership, Compassion, Courage, Sense of Beauty, Sense of Wonder, Resourcefulness, Spontaneity, Humility.....and constantly working on all of these.