City elections in California

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Portal:Municipal Government
This page details information about mayoral and city council elections in California. Specifically, information on this page relates to cities that are among the 100 largest cities in the United States.

Types of local government

Local government in California consists of:

  • Cities: as of November 2012, California had 482 cities. California's city with the largest population is Los Angeles, with a population of 3,792,621 as of the 2010 census. The city with the smallest population in California is Vernon which, as of the 2010 census, had a population of 112.
  • Counties: California has 58 counties.
  • Public school districts: there are roughly 1,300 public school districts in the state.
  • Special taxing districts: this includes Community Service Districts, Fire Protection Districts, Parks & Recreation Districts, Hospital Districts, and more. As of 2011, there were 4,772 special districts in California.[1]
  • San Francisco is a consolidated city-county government, exercising powers and responsibilities of both forms of government.

Further classifications:

Counties in California are classified in one of two ways:

  • Charter counties: 14 of the 58 counties are governed under a charter. They are Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tehama.[2]
  • General law counties: the remaining 44 operate under the general law.

Cities in California are classified in one of two ways:

  • Charter cities: as of November 2012, there were 121 charter cities in the state.[3]
  • General law cities: the remaining 361 cities are general law cities.

Largest cities

Of the 100 most populous cities in the nation, 17 are located in California.

List of the most populous cities in California
City Population City Type Next election
Los Angeles 3,857,799 Charter March 2015
San Diego 1,338,348 Charter June 3, 2014
San Jose 982,765 Charter June 3, 2014
San Francisco 982,765 Charter as consolidated city-county November 4, 2014
Fresno 505,882 Charter June 3, 2014
Sacramento 475,516 Charter June 3, 2014
Long Beach 467,892 Charter April 8, 2014
Oakland 400,740 Charter November 4, 2014
Bakersfield 358,597 Charter June 3, 2014
Anaheim 343,248 Charter November 4, 2014
Santa Ana 330,920 Charter November 4, 2014
Riverside 313,673 Charter June 2015
Stockton 297,984 Charter June 3, 2014
Chula Vista 252,422 Charter June 3, 2014
Irvine 229,985 Charter November 4, 2014
Fremont 221,986 General law November 4, 2014
San Bernardino 213,295 Charter November 3, 2015
Source: Biggest U.S. Cities

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California is the second most populous city in the nation, with a population of 3,857,799 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, with 15 city council members elected by district in nonpartisan elections. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms.[5]

San Diego

San Diego, California is the eighth most populous city in the nation, with a population of 1,338,348 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, with nine city council members elected by district in nonpartisan elections. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms.[6]

San Jose

San Jose, California is the 10th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 982,765 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of 10 members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. Elections are conducted on a nonpartisan basis. Council members are elected to four-year terms.[7]

San Francisco

San Francisco, California is the 14th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 825,863 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, with 11 supervisors elected by district in nonpartisan elections. The mayor and supervisors are elected to four-year terms.[8]

Fresno

Fresno, California is the 34th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 505,882 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, with seven city council members elected by district in nonpartisan elections. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms.[9]

Sacramento

Sacramento, California is the 35th most populous city in the nation, with a population of Sacramento as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of 8 members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. Council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[10][11]

Long Beach

Long Beach, California is the 36th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 467,892 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of 9 members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. Council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[12]

Oakland

Oakland, California is the 45th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 400,740 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a strong mayor-council form of government, with seven city council members elected by district and one council member elected at-large in nonpartisan elections. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms.[13]

Bakersfield

Bakersfield, California is the 52nd most populous city in the nation, with a population of 358,597 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of seven members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[14]

Anaheim

Anaheim, California is the 55th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 343,248 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of five members (including the mayor) elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[15]

Santa Ana

Santa Ana, California is the 57th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 330,920 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of seven members (including the mayor) elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[16]

Riverside

Riverside, California is the 59th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 313,673 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of seven members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[17][18]

Stockton

Stockton, California is the 64th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 297,984 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of six members elected by district and a mayor elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[19]

Chula Vista

Chula Vista, California is the 76th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 252,422 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of five members (including the mayor) elected at-large. Effective beginning in 2016, council members will be elected by district. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[20]

Irvine

Irvine, California is the 91st most populous city in the nation, with a population of 229,985 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of five members (including the mayor) elected at-large in nonpartisan elections. Council members are elected to four-year terms, while the mayor is elected to two-year terms.[21]

Fremont

Fremont, California is the 96th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 221,986 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of five members (including the mayor) elected at-large. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[22]

San Bernardino

San Bernardino, California is the 98th most populous city in the nation, with a population of 213,295 as of 2012.[4] The city operates under a council-manager form of government. The city council is comprised of seven members (including the mayor) elected by district. The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections.[23]

Elections by year

California

2014

Mayors

City councils

2013

See also


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