Last year, the City of Irvine was accused of violating the California Voting Rights Act by continuing to elect members of the City Council through an “at-large” election process rather than “by-district.”
An at-large election system often precludes local neighborhood representation because voters throughout the entire City elect all members of the City Council; this often results in two or three elected Councilmembers living in the same area of the City, leaving other areas of the City unrepresented.
On the other hand, district elections would divide the City into geographic districts, allowing voters in each district to elect their own City Councilmember, who must also live in that district. As cities grow, most decide to switch to district elections since it’s viewed as a more equitable voting system to ensure that every part of town has its own elected representative.
Since taking office, Councilmember Larry Agran has been the only member of the Council to publicly support both expanding the Council from five to seven members and going to district elections. Under Agran’s proposal, the Mayor would continue to be elected by all Irvine voters while six Councilmembers would be elected by district.
During the July 12th City Council meeting, an item has been added to the agenda to discuss district elections. It is expected that Agran will ask for a measure to be added to the November 2022 ballot, allowing Irvine voters to decide the matter.
In the meantime, take the latest Irvine Community Poll to let us know if you agree with Councilmember Agran that the City of Irvine should transition to district elections.