By Robert Haugh
There’s a lot of info about Measure C floating around. Some of it is accurate and some of it isn’t.
So, here’s the official factual information from the City’s website.
March 2020 Ballot Measure C – District Elections
Santa Clara will have a Special Election on March 3, 2020, which is also the election for the California Presidential Primary. Measure C will appear on the ballot asking Santa Clara voters to decide whether to amend the City Charter to elect council members by district. The City Council placed Measure C on the ballot following the recommendation of a Charter Review Committee composed of seven Santa Clara residents from across the city.
Measure C reads as follows:
If Measure C is approved by the voters, Santa Clarans would:
Elect City council members by district (except the mayor who will be elected citywide);
- For the 2020 election, establish six districts in which each council member represents each district;
- Only Council Districts 1, 4, 5 and 6 will be on the November 2020 ballot.
- Beginning with the 2022 election, establish three districts in which two council members represent each district;
- Require Council candidates to be residents of the district they represent for a minimum of 30 days prior to the filing deadline to run for office;
- Require the mayor, chief of police and city clerk to be a Santa Clara resident for a minimum of 30 days prior to the filing deadline to run for office; and
- Require an independent redistricting committee that would set the boundary lines of the three Council districts.
The City held its first district-based election in November 2018 as required by a ruling of the Santa Clara Superior Court following a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act. The court ruling did not amend the City Charter which still states that council members are elected “at-large, by seat”. The City Charter can only be amended by the voters.
In November 2018, Measure N asked voters if they wanted to engage in a public process to draft City Charter amendment language. Voters passed Measure N with 70.4% approval. Measure C is the result of the public process conducted by the Charter Review Committee.