In November 2018, the City of Santa Clara (City) held its first district-based elections as required by a ruling of the Santa Clara Superior Court (Court). The Court ruling implemented district-based elections with six Council districts, but did not amend the City Charter. Under the state constitution, the City Charter can only be amended by a vote of the City electorate. Currently, the City Charter still states that City Councilmembers are to be elected “at-large.”
The City Council placed an advisory measure on the November 2018 ballot to determine if the voters wanted to engage in a public process to draft charter amendment language. The advisory ballot measure (known as “Measure N”) read as follows:
“Shall the City of Santa Clara engage the voters in a public process to draft a Charter Amendment ballot measure to elect its Council Members, other than the Mayor, by district?”
Santa Clara voters approved Measure N, with more than 70% of the vote, on Nov. 6, 2018.
Charter Review Committee – Implementation of Measure N
At the May 7, 2019 meeting, the City Council approved the creation of a Charter Review Committee to implement voter-approved Measure N. The Charter Review Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in matters pertaining specifically to soliciting public input on draft language to amend the City of Santa Clara Charter with respect to council district elections. The committee members are volunteers and are appointed by the City Council. The City Council appointed Charter Review Committee members at a special meeting on July 10, 2019. The committee is made up of six Council district representatives and one at-large member.
The committee members are:
District 1 - Benjamin Cooley
District 2 - Steven Silva
District 3 - Christine Koltermann
District 4 - Katherine Almazol
District 5 - Sudhanshu Jain
District 6 - Stephen Ricossa
At-Large - Richard Bonito
Frequently Asked Questions
For a list of frequently asked questions, please download the FAQ.
Public Input ProcessThe recommendations from the Charter Review Committee (Committee) were presented to City Council on November 5, 2019. Over four months the Committee held five public input sessions throughout the city and five informal public listening sessions. A total of 242 online survey responses and 17 paper survey responses were received.
Charter Review Committee Public Input Session Materials
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, 7 p.m., Northside Branch Library
Draft Minutes - In process
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, 7 p.m., Mission Branch Library
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, 1 p.m., Northside Branch Library
Thursday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m., Central Park Library