District Elections

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What you need to know

The City of Santa Clara is looking to place a ballot measure on the June 5, 2018 Special Election, changing the way City Council members are elected, from by-seat elections to by-district elections. Here are some important things to know about this change.

Community Input - Get Involved!

1) Which District would you designate as District 1 and District 2? Take the survey: https://www.peakdemocracy.com/6113

To view public comments to date, please view the Survey Results 

2) Which Draft Council District Map do you Prefer? Take the community survey here at Open City Hall.

To view public comments to date, please view the Survey Results

3) To provide public input in writing, you may also email you comments directly to: districts@santaclaraca.gov

View the Preliminary Draft Plans for Council Districts

There are a total of 8 maps that have been prepared by the City's professional demographer. The first three options were prepared at the direction of the Ad-hoc Committee and, following public input and feedback, an additional five maps have been developed. All 8 maps will be discussed at the Ad-hoc Committee meeting on April 12 at 6 pm at Central Park Library - Redwood Room.

Summary comparison of all 8 maps

The professional demographer has prepared a detailed comparison memorandum, as well as a one-page summary comparison of all 8 maps. More information on the different options is available below:

Maps prepared by Demographer and initially discussed at March 26 Ad-hoc Committee (3 Map Options)

Discussion of Draft Plans NS 1 WE 1 and WE 2

NS 1 MapWE 1 MapWE 2 Map

City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan NS 1 (3-19-18) 

City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan WE 1 (3-19-18) 

City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan WE 2 (3-19-18)

Maps prepared by Demographer Based on Public Input (5 Community Map Options)

Detailed Data for Community Maps


Maps HH1Maps HH2Maps KP1

Maps KP2Maps RJ1

 City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan HH1 (04-5-18)

 City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan HH2 (04-5-18)

 City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan KP1 (04-5-18)

 City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan KP2 (04-5-18)

 City of Santa Clara Prelim Draft Plan RJ1 (04-5-18)

To provide your feedback and preference on district boundaries included in the above 8 draft maps, please email districts@santaclaraca.gov or call (408)615-2220. Thank you for your participation!

 Maps and Demographic Data

A professional demographer will review and calculate demographic information for all draft maps received from the public. All suggestions are welcome and these will be reviewed based on the legal criteria in the federal and state voting rights acts. They will then all be published on this webpage for public review. 

If you would like to submit your own map indicating two Council District Boundaries, there is a way. Use the pieces map and the database to create your recommended districting map. Please print your recommended map or save your Excel file with each Piece allocated to a Council District and email it to the Ad Hoc Advisory Districting Committee at districts@santaclaraca.gov

NOTE: In order to have your proposed map professional analyzed by the Demographer, your email must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 30. If received after this date, the information will be presented to the Ad-hoc Committee as submitted. 


Background Information Maps for Each Draft Plan

  1. each plan with precincts in background
  2. each plan with post-2010 population growth in background
  3. each plan with Santa Clara Unified SD ESAAs in background
  4. each plan with Santa Clara neighborhoods

Charter Review Committee 

At the City Council Meeting of April 11, 2017, City Council directed the creation of a Charter Review Committee. The direction from the Council included review of the City’s election method with a focus on district and other methods of electing members to the City Council in time for the June 2018 primary election.

The Committee presented its recommendation to implement by-district elections to Council on July 18, 2017.  The ballot language was approved by the Committee and presented to Council on December 5, 2017.  The Council approved moving forward with  the proposed charter amendment and directed the City Manager and City Attorney to initiate the process of drawing districts with public outreach.   If approved by voters, Council Members would be elected by two districts with three Council Members representing each district using Ranked Choice Voting. To review all related agenda material and meeting minutes, please visit www.santaclaraca.gov/charterreview.

Ad-hoc Advisory Districting Committee

A recommended Ad-hoc Advisory Districting Committee will be holding four public hearings; consider input from the public; review recommendations from the demographer; and, based on public input and professional recommendations, provide a recommendation to the City Council on one draft map providing two districts of equal population. The Committee will also consider input on the sequencing. 

Ad-hoc Advisory Districting Committee Members

  • Barbara "Bobbi" A. Estrada
  • Yuki Ikezi (Chair)
  • Stephen Ricossa

Public Meetings

Ad hoc Advisory Districting Committee Meeting

February 8, 5:00 p.m.
City Hall - Staff Conference Room
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

Four public hearings have been scheduled in order to hear input from the public. 

Two public hearings will be held before the draft district boundary line option(s) is drawn:
(Dates subject to change)

February 12, 6: 00 p.m.
Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara

March 8, 6:00 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

Two hearings will then be held after the draft district boundary line option(s) is drawn:
(Dates subject to change)

March 26, 6:00 p.m.
Northside Branch Library
695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara

April 12, 6:00 p.m.
Central Park Library, Redwood Room
2635 Homestead Ave., Santa Clara

It is expected that the Council will consider the recommendations of the Ad-hoc committee at a public hearing during the Council meeting of May 8, 2018.  

Measure A on the June 2018 Ballot

On March 6, 2018 the Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously to place the Santa Clara District Election and Voting Method Measure, known as Measure A, on the June 5, 2018 ballot. The Santa Clara City Council placed Measure A on the ballot following its review of the Charter Review Committee’s unanimous recommendations on how to update the manner in which local elections are conducted, and approval of the City Attorney’s proposed ballot language.

If approved by voters, Measure A would update the way Santa Clara voters elect local officeholders as follows: 

Establishes two voting districts, with registered voters electing three Council Members per district

  • A district boundary map will be recommended in the coming weeks following public hearings held by the Ad-hoc Advisory Districting Committee.

  • Candidates seeking election to the Santa Clara City Council are required to reside within the district they are running in and only voters residing in the district can vote on Candidates from the district.
  • The Mayor, City Clerk and Police Chief would remain elected Citywide

Establishes a voting process known as “ranked choice voting” for all city candidates for office. 

  • The single transferable method of ranked choice voting would be implemented by ordinance.
  • The election by the most votes cast would continue to be used to determine the winner until the Registrar of Voters can implement the new voting method.

Please continue to visit the Measure A website for updates and additional information.

Questions / More Information

For additional information or any questions, please contact the City Manager's Office at (408) 615-2210 or email districts@santaclaraca.gov

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