Your input is needed tonight at City of Santa Maria's hearing on voting districts

Please join us at the City of Santa Maria's hearing Thursday, March 30 (tonight) to let your opinion be known on how the new voting districts in the city should be drawn. It will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Vet's Hall, 313 W. Tunnell, Santa Maria.

The City of Santa Maria has started the process of changing from electing city council members "at large" to electing them by voting districts. The number of districts has not yet been determined, but many people think it will be four with the mayor's position being at large. It could be drawn into five districts with a rotating mayoral position. Some cities have even more districts.

The Santa Barbara County Action Network board of directors is supporting CAUSE's suggested map with four districts intersecting at Main and Broadway and the mayoral position at large. See Santa Maria Times article for that map as well as more information.

The districts will each elect their own representative who will need to be responsive to neighborhood issues such as development, transportation, maintenance or safety. Running for election in a district requires fewer resources than running citywide and would open up the council to more candidates.

We need to make sure the lines are drawn fairly to not dilute the voting rights of our working-class immigrant neighborhoods.

Your input and involvement in this process is needed.

Please join us.

Here's a link to the City's website where they outline the districting process: