Did you know Folsom’s City Council members could all live next door to each other? Under an “at-large” system, your elected officials may not be representative of their constituents. The 2001 California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) has prompted hundreds of California local agencies, including city councils, to change their by-laws to better promote democracy. But it also makes economic sense: elections cost less because candidates don’t need to campaign across the entire city.
By-district based elections will save the city funding on elections and will allow city council candidates to spend less on an election campaign. They also promote greater democracy in the city by giving areas and neighborhoods the ability to directly elect a councilperson from their area and neighborhood. Finally, and most importantly, district-based elections will give minority residents a better chance to be elected to the city council. Folsom has a growing Asian, Hispanic and African American community, which is not reflected in our current city council. This initiative increases the ability to diversify Folsom City Council.
This is how we elect our State Assembly, State Senate, and Federal House of Representatives. Why shouldn’t it be the way we elect our City Council?
- Read about the benefits of a by-district model in this Folsom Telegraph article.
- Learn about the CVRA
- It’s not just us: here are other examples of by-district voting across California
- Methods to elect city council members
- The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the CVRA
- Updated! See the Folsom City Council’s response