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Joe Janis and Tricia Mading, San Clemente
We at Protect Our Neighborhoods encourage all residents to vote “no” on Measure V, which seeks to break San Clemente into five separate voting districts. In 2001, the California Voting Rights Act was passed to make it easier for minority groups in California to prove that their votes are being diluted in at-large elections. San Clemente does not need district elections because we don’t have areas with large minority populations that cause dilution of votes.
With our current at-large election process, all San Clemente residents are on a level playing field. Any qualified resident may choose to run for Council during any election period. Residents can vote for whom they want, when they want. With district elections, residents will only be able to vote once every four years for a candidate in the district in which they reside. If passed, Measure V will not only severely limit our voting rights, it will also greatly enhance the ability of special interest groups to obtain their self-serving objectives.
Measure V got its origin when a few residents and some out-of-town businessmen were upset with a decision our City Council made concerning sober living homes and vacation rentals operating in our residential neighborhoods. A special interest group was formed. The group actually hired non-residents to come to San Clemente and solicit signatures for their districting petition. You may remember these solicitors collecting signatures at some of our local stores. During the next few weeks, special interest groups will be sending out mailers and posting ads in support of Measure V. They will also tell us whom we should and shouldn’t vote for. Throw those fliers away.
San Clemente has been able to maintain its small-town charm because our City Councilmembers represent all of San Clemente when they vote, not special interest groups that try to change us for their own gains. Protect San Clemente and vote “no” on Measure V.