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  • Take Back Torrance

Newsletter No. 3, July 18, 2022

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

· Council members’ needing to represent their districts.

If you watched the July 12 meeting of the new City

Council, you heard Councilmembers talk about their need

to represent the whole City, and not just their Districts.

We won’t go into all the reasons why Torrance was forced

to switch from an at-large system to District voting. As a

voter, I had liked being able to vote for each of the six


Even though I personally would prefer to have the at-large

system return, the Districts do offer an advantage. We

now each have a Councilmember who is responsible for

representing our concerns.

Before if we had an issue – let’s say the Beach Cities

Health District’s desire to encroach on a neighborhood –

residents did not have a Councilmember to champion their

cause. Now they do. (Or they will once someone fills the

vacancy caused by George Chen’s election as Mayor.)

While Torrance has limited experience with Districts, they

are part of Redondo Beach’s DNA. When I was

campaigning, Pete Verenkoff introduced me to Nils Nehrenheim,

a Redondo Councilmember who just became Mayor Pro Tem.

Nehrenheim was holding regular in-person (and on Zoom)

meetings with his District 1 constituents in a city-owned

community room. I attended one and thought his process

so successful that I would have copied it had I been elected.

His agenda started by explaining what actions the Council

had recently taken, next he shared issues that could be

called coming attractions. He finished by asking residents

to raise whatever concerns they had and/or ask him

questions. He had answers for some; for others, he took

notes and said that he would get back to them.

Now that we have our representatives, we need to ask

them to communicate with us. Not everyone would be

comfortable holding monthly meetings. And that isn’t the

only possible model.

Perhaps this can be a role for our homeowners’

associations. Would the North Torrance Homeowners

Assn., which sponsored a candidates forum that covered

Districts 1 and 3 be willing to step up with regular forums

so that Councilmembers Kaji and Sheikh could share their

positions on issues and listen to residents’ concerns.

How would you like to see your Councilmember represent

your District’s interests?

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