District-Based Elections

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

 ***ATTENTION VOTERS IN CITY OF SANTA ROSA COUNCIL DISTRICT 2***

A very small number of voters may receive a district boundary change letter from Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office. . Impacted voters were mailed a new ballot, a new Voter Information Guide, and the aforementioned district boundary change letter on October 15, 2018. In addition, any voter with a phone number on file was contacted by phone. To find out if your location or ballot type has changed, please go to Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Polling Place and Voter Information Guide Lookup.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office at (707) 565-6800.


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 October 8, 2017. 

On February 6, 2018, the City has resumed proceedings to transition to district-based Council member elections. A total of six public hearings have been 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. Please view the dates listed in the table below with document links as presented at each public hearing.

On April 17, 2018, the City Council has adopted the final district-based map and established the sequence of district elections by Ordinance ORD-2018-007

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR MAP WAS DUE MARCH 30, 2018 BY 5:00 P.M.  Thank you to all the residents that submitted maps.  You can continue to use these tools to propose revisions to the various initial draft maps. However, by State Law, maps to be considered by the Council at Public Hearings must be posted online and available at City Hall one week before the hearing adopting the final map.  

NDC has reviewed all posted draft maps for population balancing, ensuring that they are contiguous, and not in violation of the Federal or California Voting Rights Act.  All maps submitted are NOW posted online and may be viewed on the Interactive Review Map or in PDF format.

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the City Council held its third public hearing providing the public an opportunity to respond to draft maps and make recommendations regarding the proposed district boundaries and the potential sequence of elections.  At that meeting, the City Council narrowed its selection from twenty-eight (28) draft maps to six (6). You may submit your comments in reference to the draft maps and/or provide an alternative draft map to SantaRosa@NDCresearch.com no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 30, 2018.

Quicklinks:


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.
March 6, 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

***NEW DATE ADDED***
April 3, 2018
4th Public Hearing
Narrowing selection of 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.
April 10, 2018
5th Public Hearing
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
6th Public HearingRegarding Draft maps and proposed sequence of elections.
Further opportunity for public to respond to 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.