Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray’s most recent e-newsletter went out yesterday, and present a very clear explanation of the City Council’s recent actions regarding the Citizens Advisory Council, districting and expanding the size of the council. This is a welcome communication, since the media and local blog coverage of this issues (with the exception of Anaheim Blog, of course) has been confused, incomplete and often misleading – a result of a persistent propaganda campaign of disinformation and misrepresentation from advocates of single-member council districts.
Anaheim City Council Approves Historic Elections Change
Council Agrees to Alter Historic City Election System and Let the Voters Decide
Following months of community meetings and public discussion, the City Council took historic action Tuesday night to alter the way in which residents elect city leaders. At a previous meeting, the Council reviewed the findings and recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections and Community Involvement (CAC) and listened to hours of public comment, as well as testimony from CAC members and reports by voting rights experts and city staff.
I am deeply grateful to the CAC – a committee comprised of private citizens – who gave countless hours serving their fellow residents, reviewing the City’s present electoral system, and studying the array of legal options available to ensure a fair and open elections process in Anaheim that serves our growing population and changing demographics.
Staying true to the submitted CAC recommendations and input from residents, the Council took the following steps that became final following Tuesday’s City Council meeting:
- Adopted a city ordinance to establish residency-based districts for city council members that maintains elections by city-wide vote. This system ensures neighborhood representation while maintaining a council body that is accountable and responsive to the city as a whole;
- In addition to this ordinance, the Council approved two ballot measures for the June 3, 2014 election that will give Anaheim voters the opportunity to consider the following city charter amendments:
- Establish residency-based districts for city council members with election to occur by city-wide vote;
- Increase the City Council from 4 to 6 members with the Office of the Mayor continuing to be separately elected at-large.
The City Council’s action, with approval by the voters, would establish a similar elections system in Anaheim to systems used in the cities of Newport Beach, Santa Ana and most familiar to Anaheim voters, the Orange Unified School District (OUSD) representing many of Anaheim’s primary and secondary schools.
For information on the findings and recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Elections and Community Involvement, click here. For additional information on the City Council and meetings, visit www.anaheim.net.