Public Participation In District Map Development

Retrieved April 25, 2023 at 1:27 p.m.

Good afternoon. My name is Susan Sayre and I am an Irvine resident. Irvine will be placing a charter change initiative on the ballot to increase the City Council to 7 members and to create district elections.

The City of Irvine claims that it has been reaching out to Irvine residents to give them a gift of an opportunity of a lifetime by inviting them to participate in Irvine’s first districting process. I am curious; by what means has the City been reaching out to Irvine residents? You have given presentations on the district mapping process during City Council meetings and community meetings. The city has claimed it has developed a mapping website and invites public participation. Yet, only a few people have attended the public meetings and have submitted maps.

I have yet to meet anyone, who does not attend City Council meetings or participate in Irvine’s decision making process, who has heard about Irvine placing a ballot initiative on the ballot to increase the size of the City Council to 7 members and to create district elections. Few people use city websites or attend city meetings. I have not seen signs or flyers nor received mailed notices inviting residents to participate in the process. There haven’t even been signs in front of the meeting locations! There should be mailers sent to Irvine residents, and signs placed along the major Irvine roadways and in front of Irvine’s libraries and the various Irvine community centers. Such notice may not be required by law, but the law does not prohibit it. Give Irvine residents the opportunity of a life time that they will never forget. Yes….advertisement may be costly…but given the importance of the mapping process, public notice is not only worth the cost… it should also be considered a priority.