Opinion: Support District Elections and Expand The Size of the City Council
In all the years I have lived in Irvine, I have never seen so much corruption in Irvine’s decision-making process, including an increasing lack of transparency and intentional discouragement of public participation. Since public distrust of our City Council has substantially increased, Irvine residents are asking for corrective action. Increasing our City Council size and establishing district representation is a good place to start.
In 2020 Irvine’s population was around 320,000 and is likely currently around 380,000. It is reported that in just a few years, Irvine’s population will be around 400,000. Increasing the City Council size to at least seven members (6 district representatives living within their designated district and Mayor At Large) would serve to represent better Irvine’s residents both by Council Members and the commissioners that they appoint, who will provide increased oversight over the decision-making process. There would also be more council members to share the responsibility of serving on the various assigned community-based committees, commissions, and boards.
As the six district council members would represent about 67,000 residents instead of 400,000, campaign costs would be drastically reduced. Residents would become influenced more by their community relationship with candidates than by political endorsements and PAC-paid flyers that fill their mailboxes. Residents would be more likely to participate in the decision-making process and would thereby become known in the community. More community members would likely be willing to become City Council candidates. As Irvine is made up of a number of village communities, each with its own distinct character, districts should consist of intact and adjoining villages, and each district with approximately the same number of residents.
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