ABOUT THE 4TH DISTRICT
Since the City of Costa Mesa was established in 1953, never before has there been a Latino candidate elected to the city council, despite making up over one third of Costa Mesa’s total population. Costa Mesa’s Westside has also been left behind other parts of our city with infrastructure development and the maintenance of our schools until just recently.
That all changed in 2018, when Manuel Chavez, Arlis Reynolds, and Andrea Marr were the first three latinx City Council Members elected in the city’s history. Under the new City Council’s leadership, a historic restoration of Westside neighborhoods is underway.
A little bit of history:
In 2016, an attorney threatened a lawsuit against the City of Costa Mesa alleging that the use of at-large voting violates the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 by diluting the power of the city’s Latino residents to “elect candidates of their choice or otherwise influence the outcome of Costa Mesa’s council elections” (LA Times). To avoid a costly lawsuit, the city moved forward with a plan for adopting districts to elect city council members, instead of the traditional approach of electing city council members at-large.
The 4th District lies in the heart of Westside Costa Mesa, and Manuel Chavez was one of the first Latino candidates elected to the city council under this new system. Council Member Chavez now represents all of District 4 in addition to having full voting power for matters in all of Costa Mesa.
In 2017, the City of Costa Mesa launched an online interactive map that makes it easy for residents to determine which district they live in.