CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy) has successfully spearheaded an effort to switch Ventura from a city-wide election model to a district-base one. District elections guarantee a voice for underrepresented neighborhoods like the Westside, leading to more diverse leadership at City Hall. While one in three Ventura residents is a person of color, Ventura has never had a non-white city councilmember, an issue that’s put us in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.
However, there are other benefits of using districts. By reducing the size of a voting area, the cost of running for office is greatly reduced, making it possible for more people to consider running for local office. It currently costs an average of $18,000 to win a seat on Ventura City Council, as candidates must pay to run expensive citywide advertisements. Districts bring elections down to the neighborhood level, promoting grassroots democracy. District elections also keep our representatives more accountable to listening to their neighbors instead of wealthy interests.
So, now the mapping of the districts begins and this is where you come in. We can help place the lines of the seven new districts.
Here’s the city’s link: https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/districtelections
There are paper maps you can download, interactive maps and an on-line district-drawing tool. Also, attend the public hearings (hearing dates