Originally published on October 13, 2016
By Chris Ward, CouncilMember-Elect
Among the 31 state and local measures that voters will weigh in on in this election are two important city reforms designed to make sure that critical decisions about our elected leaders and major policy changes are aligned with general elections when most voters traditionally participate.
Our current city elections are run differently than how we choose our state and federal officials, and as a result our city council, mayor and city attorney may be chosen outright in the primary by a small fraction of voters long before we get our general election ballots for November. Indeed, I’m an example of this. With Councilmember Todd Gloria facing term-limits, I was elected outright in this year’s June election to represent District 3, and now my own race won’t be on ballots arriving this week. I look forward to serving, but I believe strongly that protecting the voice of the voters I now represent is more important than special rules to save me from facing them. Quite simply, our democracy is strongest when the most people participate, and your elected representatives are better able to serve you when we’re chosen by you – all of you.