Joyce Dale: Merced on verge of historic district decision

As part of an active committee formed by Communities for a New California Education Fund, I have attended redistricting public meetings, talked with families throughout the community, and heard the need for equal representation on our city council.
Merced citizens made history in 2014 when voters supported Measure T, changing how we elect our city council members and ensuring that every community has a voice.
The Independent Districting Advisory Committee, made up of seven Merced citizens, along with community input, has selected the two best district maps. These maps create six city council districts in the city, so families throughout Merced can participate equally in the city’s governance. Prior to Measure T, elections were at-large, meaning candidates living in the same parts of town could run, leaving many areas of the city without representation.
Monday, Oct. 5, at the Civic Center, our city council will vote on which map best reflects the values residents have expressed. I urge them to hear the voices of families and communities standing together for people power and inclusion. The map that best reflects these values are Palma 1 to the south and Belluomini 2 to the north.
Every neighborhood deserves a voice in city government, especially those so often left behind.