142015May

Tatiana Vizcaino-Stewart: District elections should make city council more inclusive, diverse

Seven Merced citizens are making history. They are part of the Independent Districting Advisory Committee (IDAC), which will be responsible for recommending a districting plan that divides Merced into six city council districts. These districts will be used for future city council elections. This has never been done before in the city of Merced. Before the passage of Measure T, elections were at large, meaning all voters cast their ballots for all candidates. This left many areas of the city without representation.
This new process is more fair and will limit the cost of a campaign – instead of reaching out to 83,000 voters, a candidate will only need to communicate with about 13,000 people (the expected number of voters per district). This new way of doing things is more inclusive, a trait sometimes lacking in cities and government.
When more citizens participate, the community benefits and city leaders pay more attention. Diversity is good for our city and good for our future. Every Merced neighborhood needs a voice at city hall. And you can share your voice at one of these upcoming meetings of the IDAC:
Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Merced Senior Center, 755 W 15th St.
Saturday, May 30 at 2 p.m. at Rivera Middle School, 945 Buena Vista Drive
TATIANA VIZCAINO-STEWART, MERCED
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