District-Based Elections

The City of Santa Rosa will transition from at-large to district-based elections starting November 6, 2018 

WHY DISTRICT ELECTIONS?

The city received a certified letter from the law firm of Shenkman & Hughes on July 17, 2017 claiming the city is violating the California Voting Rights Act (Elec. Code §§ 14025-14032) because Council members are elected at-large rather than by districts. Dozens of local government agencies in California have faced similar challenges in recent years.

WHAT ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN ?

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the Council adopted a Resolution of Intention No. RES-2017-173, taking advantage of a legal protection that enables cities to have a say in district boundaries and avoid costly litigation.

This protection applies only to cities that pass a resolution within 45 days of receiving a demand letter alleging a violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). The resolution must indicate the city’s intent to move to district elections. Read the staff report and supporting documentation for the meeting where the City Council voted to move to district elections. 

The Council’s resolution set forth a schedule of public hearings in connection with the drawing of the electoral districts. The first of those public hearings took place on October 3, 2017. The remaining public hearings were postponed due to the impacts of the wildfires that swept into the City beginning on October 8, 2017. 

HOW CAN THE COMMUNITY BE INVOLVED?

The City is now ready to resume proceedings to transition to district-based Council member elections. A total of five public hearings are scheduled between February and April. All Public Hearings will be held at City Hall in the Council Chamber at 100 Santa Rosa Avenue at 5:00 P.M. or as soon thereafter. Download the Renewed District-Based Election Schedule of Dates and Meetings or view the schedule in the table below.

ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO PROVIDE PUBLIC INPUT?

Interested in drawing a district map?
Use the mapping tools available

Can't attend the meeting or have additional feedback?
Provide public input on our online forum and join the discussion!

Want to read comments from other community members submitted by email?
Review submitted public correspondence


2018 (RENEWED) SCHEDULE OF DATES AND MEETING INFORMATION

DATE
EVENT
COMMENT
February 6, 2018
 

1st Public Hearing
Council to receive input from Community to be used to draw preliminary district maps. No maps yet drawn.
February 13, 2018
2nd Public Hearing

Council to receive additional input from Community to be used to draw preliminary district maps. No maps yet drawn.
February 27, 2018
Publish Draft Maps and Potential Sequence of elections.

March 13, 2018
3rd Public Hearing
Regarding Draft Maps and proposed sequence of elections.  
Opportunity for public to respond and make recommendations regarding the proposed district boundaries and sequence of elections.
March 27, 2018
Any Amended Maps Posted

April 10, 2018
4th Public Hearing
Regarding Draft Maps and proposed sequence of elections.  
Further opportunity for public to respond and make recommendations regarding the proposed district boundaries and sequence of elections.
Expected that Council will select map to establish district boundaries, introduce an ordinance establishing district elections, and determine election sequence.
 Note: If posted maps are further amended, ordinance cannot be introduced until 7 days after amended map is published.
April 17, 2018
5th Public Hearing
Regarding Draft maps and proposed sequence of elections
Further opportunity for public to respond and make recommendations regarding the proposed district boundaries and sequence of elections.
Expected that Council will adopt an ordinance establishing district elections.

2017 SCHEDULE OF DATES AND MEETING INFORMATION

August 29, 2017(video and documents now available)
Resolution of Intention: City Council adopts Resolution declaring its intention to transition from at‑large to district-based elections.
CVRA Action cannot be commenced for 90 days.
August 30 – October 2, 2017
Public Outreach
Process & Participation No Maps Yet Drawn
October 3, 2017(video and documents now available)
1st Public Hearing
Composition of Districts. To receive feedback from community members that will be used to draw preliminary district maps. No Maps Yet Drawn
October 10, 2017 
MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO A STATE OF EMERGENCY 
2nd Public Hearing
Composition of Districts. Continuation of the opportunity for community members to provide feedback to be used in drawing preliminary district maps.No Maps Yet Drawn.