More than five decades ago, Irvine became a city with about 10,000 residents. When the local government was being formed, a five-member City Council was established.
Now, 53 years later, Irvine — with a population of more than 310,000 residents — still has only five Councilmembers. Grassroots community-based candidates today have a hard time competing for Council seats against those who are financially backed by land developers and big corporate special interest groups. These big-business political committees pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into our local elections to make sure that candidates who will vote their way make it onto the Council.
Under our current voting system, it took the UCI community 50 years to elect a Councilmember. And, Great Park Neighborhood residents pay the highest taxes in the City yet they have no representative on the Council. In fact, three members of the current five-member Council live south of the I-405 Freeway.
In the March 5th state primary, Irvine voters will have the opportunity to vote YES on Measure D, which will ensure that every part of town — including the UCI community and the Great Park Neighborhoods — will always have a voice at City Hall, with their own elected Council representative.
Measure D will expand the current five-member Council to seven — six Councilmembers elected from geographic districts (each with about 50,000 residents) plus the Mayor, who will continue to be elected citywide.
Irvine residents are actively walking door-to-door, encouraging their neighbors to vote YES on Measure D!
In fact, it’s become a group activity for many Irvine families. North Park resident Michelle Johnson says that she and her husband have begun spending evenings and weekends connecting with their neighbors in support of Measure D. And, just this week Michelle was distributing “YES on Measure D” materials with the help of her two brothers, sister-in-law, and her brother’s adorable dog Sancho.
Central Irvine resident Tom Chomyn has made it a family project too. Tom says: “I have always believed in local democracy and am proud to have my children and grandchildren join this grassroots citizen-led campaign. We are working as a family distributing door hangers, delivering lawn signs and knocking on doors.”
Westpark resident Greta Jacobs enlisted the help of her grandson Sean to help reach out to residents in her neighborhood.
And, the son and grandson of Vice Mayor Larry Agran — who has advocated for district elections since rejoining the Council in 2020 — are also lending a hand. Agran’s son Ken said: “We’re happy to help by talking to our neighbors about this important ballot measure. Most residents we speak with agree that it’s time to expand the Council and make sure that every part of town has its own elected representative”
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- Irvine Vice Mayor Larry Agran Announces Mayoral Campaign - February 13, 2024