I have been sent some questions on the use of District in Poway’s elections. My answers are provided below.
Poway’s first district election is 75 days from now (on Thursday, Aug 23rd).
There is still a slight possibility that the district elections will not be held due to an action that might happen in the Higginson v Becerra and the City of Poway court case. I know that council members can’t comment, and prospective council members shouldn’t comment on ongoing litigation, so please focus your response to these questions on other aspects of the district elections.
A. Do you think the district elections are a positive or negative thing for Poway voters? Please explain your thinking.
At first I was skeptical about the need to create voting districts for Poway. I thought the districts would divide our community and make it more difficult to get things done.
However, after meeting with many people throughout Poway I see the districts have brought a new level of energy and involvement to many Poway communities and I think that is a good thing. Also, I don’t see anything like the division I thought might occur. If anything, I think the districts have brought Poway closer together.
So, so far so good.
B. Would you support a 4 district citizen’s commission to redraw/rebalance the district boundaries after the 2020 census or would you prefer that the council members do it? Again, please explain your thinking.
If the districts were going to be redrawn then I would want citizens to be involved. However, I would also like some involvement from city government as the process could get very complicated. Also, I would want to explore some totally different district maps including the use of “bands” running north-to-south so that each district would have portions of each of the major road (Poway, Twin Peaks, and Espola) and each district would have communities with different densities in them (including commercial and industrial facilities.) This is similar to the way Encinitas districted, which was using east-to-west band so that each district has beach, rail, highway and rural sections, and therefore would all share the same concerns.
That said, if the current district maps seem to be working after the 2020 election, I would see no reason for radical changes at that time. A simple adjustment for the population changes would be enough.