Keep Virginia Beach’s Current Electoral System
Learn Why The 10-1 System is the Right Choice.
Our current system has produced the most diverse and responsive city council in history.
Petition City Council to Keep the 10-1 System.
Sign our petition to keep the current system and attend events to let the city know in person.
What Happens If There Is No 10-1 System?
Learn what could happen to your city government if we go back to the old at-large system.
The 10-1 System is the Right Choice for Virginia Beach
- The new 10-1 electoral system works and has provided a change in leadership with new voices.
- Virginia Beach citizens now vote directly for their representative of their district.
- In the recent November 2022 Virginia Beach City Council and School Board, the races produced the most diverse slate of candidates ever.
- The people voted in the most minority representatives ever elected to City Council.
- District issues and priorities are weighted equally compared to at-large big ticket projects
- After a federal lawsuit and a change to state law for our elections, the political establishment and special interests still want to change the new system.
- The Mayor and City Council is now spending $350K on an effort to put a non-binding referendum question to change the new electoral system on the upcoming November 2023 elections setting the stage for the 2024 City Council and School Board races.
- The Elect 10-1 movement needs your help to speak up and let Council know Elect 10-1 works best for all of us.
Special Interests and Big Money Play a Big Role in Local Elections:
Bruce Thompson is a developer and the CEO of Gold Key I PHR, a Virginia Beach hospitality company that owns hotels, restaurants, and condominiums.
In both 2018 and 2020, Bruce Thompson lead a group of business leaders in Hampton Roads to fund ad campaigns against candidates he disagreed with.
“It’s 100% about access” – Bruce Thompson
(Source: wavy.com 10/14/21)
In 2022, Bruce Thompson donated $18,750 for candidates for Virginia Beach City Council. Only Rocky Holcomb, an incumbent, was elected.
- $8,750 to Heidi Daniels
- $5,000 to Rocky Holcomb
- $5,000 to John Andrews
Why the At-Large System Was Not Fair:
A federal lawsuit and a change in state law set up the new 10-1 electoral system.
For decades the At-Large voting system favored incumbents where you could lose in your home district boundaries but could win city-wide because someone from another district voted for your district representative.
Challengers running against incumbents faced severe obstacles including running city-wide, competing against special interests, and having the ability to get their message out so that Virginia Beach citizens had viable options.
Candidates who lost their home district could still win by recieving more votes elsewhere in the city as their campaigns were flush with cash from special interest donors like Bruce Thompson, the Franklin Johnston Group, and Michael Sifen.
Special Interest Spending in the November 2022
Virginia Beach City Council Elections:
Under the 10-1 system, grassroots candidates can win against special interest money! Current 10th district Councilwoman Jennifer Rouse won her 2022 election having raised significantly less ($24,146) than Heidi Daniels ($181,105)
Tell city council you want to keep the 10-1 system!
Sign Our Petition!
How council can improve our current system:
- Invest in purchasing more voting machines
- Hiring more election officials
- Finding more voting precinct locations
- Extend early voting to Sundays
- Provide shuttles/transportation to the disabled/seniors who can’t travel to the voting precincts
- Represent the people and not cater to the business elite/special interest/politically connected
What happens if there is no 10-1 system?
There is an effort by the politically powerful and well connected to change the new system of 10-1 to a super ward hybrid like the City of Norfolk (7 districts, 3 super districts, and 1 at-large mayor).
If the 10-1 election system goes away – then the status quo comes back, grassroots candidates will have to face well financed candidates, your political voice may be diluted.
Examples of how citizen priorities may be neglected:
Neighborhood Neglect- Burton Station
Burton Station, a historically black neighborhood nestled next to the Norfolk International Airport; for decades did not have sewer and water lines while the rest of the city developed around it. In 2009, a master plan was created calling for a variety of residential, commercial, and office uses. Fast forward to 2023, Burton Station still languishes as compared to the rest of the city.
School Funding/Modernization - Not A Priority
Kellam H.S. was constructed at a price tag of over $102m. School Board recently asked Council to help modernize Bayside High School, Bettie F. Williams, and Princess Anne H.S.
No Rec Center in the Centerville/College Park Area
These neighborhoods are highly dense and have a large concentration of families and youth. Other parts of the city have prioritized recreation centers and libraries, yet there is no rec center or library in this part of town.
Oceanfront Versus Rest of City
Efforts to Change the System By The Establishment
- VB Lost Federal Lawsuit and Then Appealed It
- VB City Council approves $350K PR contract (town halls and survey) to support their efforts to put a non-binding referendum on the 2024 election ballot a push for 7 districts, 3 superwards, 1 At-large mayor
- If they are successful, the matter goes before Council and they vote on it, put it on the November election as a referendum question, and if the results says remove 10-1 and implement a new 7-3-1 system it goes before the General Assembly as a charter change
Here are examples of what the City could of used $350K paid for engagement and survey services for:
- School Resource Officers in Elementary Schools
- Business Grants for Small Business and Non-Profits
- Rehab grants for residential neighborhoods
- Youth Sport Programs like Tackle Football (City No Longer Support Rec Tackle Football)
- Free Parking at the Oceanfront
- Playground equipment like skate/bmx ramps or creating Pickleball Courts
- Senior Citizen Tax Relief
- More resources for the disabled
- Community engagement in tackling gun violence, affordable housing, workforce development, business growth, etc. instead of spending $350K on an effort that helps only the business elite/special interest/and politically powerful