Like many people in Newport Beach, I live here, own a business here, and volunteer here. I’ve served as the Vice Chair of the Newport Beach Arts Commission with some great public servants and regularly talk to our elected officials and keep a pulse on our City.
But I can’t vote for the Mayor of this City. And neither can 87,000+ residents in our City. That’s not right.
We elect qualified residents to City Council spots every two years. They go to debates, answer reporters’ questions, send out mailers, walk door-to-door, and are incredibly accessible.
We trust our voters to be informed and make the right decisions based on a ton of information they receive. I know plenty of people who take that vote very seriously.
But no matter how seriously they take their civic participation, Newport Beach residents don’t choose the Mayor. I’ve heard the position referenced as a “ceremonial,” but we know differently, especially during trying times such as a pandemic.
Mayors are symbols of our City’s vision and voters should have a direct say in that process rather than seeing annual changes based on tradition.
It’s time for a simple message and a simple change. It’s time to Elect Our Mayor.
Michelle Bendetti / Newport Beach