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Oceanside Begins Move From Citywide To District Elections

The Oceanside City Council voted Wednesday to move from citywide to district elections.

The vote was 3 to 2 with council members Chuck Lowery, Esther Sanchez and Jerry Kern voting "yes', and Mayor Jim Wood and councilman Jack Feller voting "no. "

Oceanside is the fourth North County city to make the change, following threats of legal action under the California Voting Rights Act. Cities that have tried to fight the move to redistricting have lost in court.

Boundary lines for districts will be drawn and adopted with public input. Those who run for City Council will need to live in the district where they seek election.

About 30 people from a group called Oceanside Citizens Coalition demonstrated to protest the move to district elections, saying it reduces residents' voting power to one district council member instead of four.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Promise Yee

Demonstrators protest the move to have district elections in the city of Oceanside, May 4, 2017.

The Oceanside City Council voted Wednesday to move from citywide to district elections.

Voting by district is expected to lead to greater diversity and more representation of minorities on elected boards. Escondido, San Marcos and Vista have all voted to change to district elections, and Carlsbad is set to consider it soon. Oceanside will hold five public meetings before drawing district boundaries. The city's first council elections by district will take place in November 2018.

Community Meetings

Saturday, May 13

Balderrama Recreation Center - 12 p.m.

Tuesday, May 16

El Corazon Senior Center - 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 20

Bishop Recreation Center - 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23

Lake Elementary School - 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30

Civic Center Library Community Rooms - 6 p.m.

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