District-Based Elections

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


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.

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. 

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. 

PUBLIC INPUT - Share your feedback and comments. Join the discussion! 



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, 2017Public OutreachProcess & ParticipationNo Maps Yet Drawn
October 3, 2017 (video and documents now available)1st Public HearingComposition 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 HearingComposition of Districts. Continuation of the opportunity for community members to provide feedback to be used in drawing preliminary district maps.No Maps Yet Drawn.
October 24, 2017Publish Draft Maps and Potential Sequence of Elections
November 1, 2017 [NOTE: REVISED from August 29th meeting.]3rd Public Hearing
Special Meeting
Draft Maps.  Opportunity to respond and make recommendations regarding the proposed district boundaries and the potential sequence of elections.
November 7, 2017Any Amended Maps Posted
November 14, 20174th Public Hearing Draft Maps.  Expected that Council will select map to establish district boundaries, introduce an ordinance establishing district elections, and determine election sequence.
November 21, 20175th Public HearingExpected that Council will adopt an ordinance establishing district elections.
November 27, 2017Day 90