ABOUT THE 4TH DISTRICT
Since the City of Costa Mesa was established in 1953, there has never 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 in terms of infrastructure development and the maintenance of our schools until just recently, and there is still a long way to go.
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 could be one of the first Latino candidates elected to city council under this new system, in addition to Arlis Reynolds and Andrea Marr, two other local Costa Mesa candidates.
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.