When we think of Costa Mesa as residents, our minds immediately travel to the moderate weather and temperatures, huge, fun-filled events, multiple places to hang out and chill when stress at home catches up to you, close-proximity beaches, the view of mountains in the far distance, and more.
But perhaps we’re missing something, or someone else’s, point of view on our beloved city- the very people who run the show. Off in the back wings sit our City Council members, working hard and diving straight into addressing concerns of Costa Mesa citizens.
One of these amazing, dedicated members is Manuel Chavez.
Being as young as twenty three years old, his voice is quite “unique,” he says, compared to the other members of council. Although his youth may seem like a disadvantage through some eyes, it has its advantages in terms of representation of different people throughout Costa Mesa.
“I often use my experiences as a young adult to explain to council and the public what the future generations of Costa Mesa residents want,” Chavez says. “[This can be] more equity in public works, affordable housing [or], making our city more walkable and bike-able.”
Not only does Chavez strive to help voice the opinions of Costa Mesa youth, but fighting for his community is the entire reason he ran in the first place.
“I ran for Costa Mesa District 4 because it’s my home,” he explains. “I ran because I saw the need to have representation for the Westside Residents that so often felt left out from major decision[s] in city council.”
Being a strong supporter of the Save Our Youth program (SOY), Chavez also urges the youth of Costa Mesa to get involved in local politics and to educate themselves on what’s happening.
“Get involved in City Hall,” he advises. “Go to meetings, speak your mind on issues you care about on social media, reach out to your council members about what you want to see change in Costa Mesa.” “The best way to learn more is to get involved.”
“Your voice is your strength, use it!”