The city will begin holding a series of community meetings where the public can give its input on the boundaries of the six single-member council districts into which Anaheim will be carved due to the passage last year of Measures L and M.
From the City of Anaheim:
Anaheim’s current At-Large electoral system will, for the first time, change to a By-District system made up of six districts. Participants will provide input and insight into where the City Council voting boundaries will be drawn.
The first of a series of meetings will be held Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 200 S. Anaheim Blvd., 1st floor.
“We encourage our residents to make the time to attend and participate in these important meetings,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “This is a unique time in Anaheim’s history, and the first in more than 150 years for residents to participate in changing our electoral system. Residents will have opportunities to present their ideas to a panel of retired judges, including submitting maps with suggestions for district boundaries. We welcome our community members’ taking part in shaping Anaheim’s future.”
Public input from the meetings will be reviewed by an Advisory Committee composed of five retired Superior Court judges – James Jackman, Nancy Wieben Stock, Stephen J. Sundvold, Thomas Neal Thrasher, and Edward J. Wallin. The public and Committee will have the assistance of an expert demographer at each meeting. The Committee will make its recommendation to the City Council by October 6. The Council will hold public hearings and make the final determination by the end of this year. The new districts will take effect for the November 2016 elections.
The Advisory Committee meetings will be broadcast online and Anaheim’s local cable Channel 3. Visit www.anaheim.net/districts for more information.
Single-member council district were and are a bad-idea for Anaheim that will more likely than not lead to more squabbling, worse governance and enervate the city’s ability to act with energy. But the voters have every right to adopt bad policies. Now that they have, the trick will be adopting council districts shaped more by geography and natural communities of interest rather than a racial gerrymander intended to produce a certain number of councilmembers from this or that racial or ethnic group.