Pure by-district elections make it more affordable and accessible for candidates to run and get elected to the Modesto City Council. Likewise, under this system residents would be able to more readily and directly access their elected officials, which is crucial for effective governance.
Some have expressed concern that a pure by-district system would produce officials who are prone to misdeeds and are myopic in their outlook. The fact is, "bad apples" can be found in all types of electoral systems. Moreover, scrutiny during the elections process should allow voters to discern if candidates are team players and capable of simultaneously representing their districts and the city as a whole.
On Feb. 5, voters will decide whether to do away with Modesto's antiquated at-large system. This past November in an advisory vote, Modesto wisely and overwhelmingly favored the pure by-district approach. My hope is that voters will again favor, and this time bind, the city to district elections by voting yes on Measure N.