FAQ Topic: District Elections

How Many Districts are Required?

Staff have reviewed the Petaluma City Charter and it is clear from the Charter that it requires seven council seats. It is Council’s direction to draw a map with six districts and a mayor to be chosen at large, which would not require an amendment to our Charter.

Who Determines the Districts?

Everyone! We want everyone in our Petaluma community to help us determine the best way to map out these district-based election boundaries. This means we need you to tell us what make sense when drawing a district. Does your neighborhood have shared concerns? Is there a park, school, major road, or intersection that would define … Continued

How Will Districts Be Formed?

The City of Petaluma will be working with the community to draft maps that meet the requirements of the law regarding districting while also reflecting our community in ways that support communities of interest.  This process requires input from you to better understand our community and where districts would make sense.  There will be three … Continued

What is a Community of Interest?

A Community of Interest is a connected population that shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single City Council district for purposes of its effective and fair representation as a potential voting bloc in current or future elections. Such groups include (but are not limited to) groups with cultural or … Continued

What Are District Elections?

Petaluma currently uses an at-large election system, which means all voters in the city cast a ballot for all six councilmembers and our Mayor.   In our new district election model, voters from a specified area will vote directly for one of six Councilmembers to represent them. For example, if you live near a park … Continued


Mapping tools will be made available for members of the public to draw their own district maps and submit them for consideration. Download a City Boundary Map to start thinking about how you would draw districts in Petaluma. Initial draft maps will be posted seven days in advance of Public Hearing #3, and changes to … Continued


The City is required to follow a prescribed schedule when considering a transition to district elections under threat of a lawsuit. The following schedule is subject to change and will be updated as needed. RELATED ACTIVITIES Activity Date Received Demand Letter 8/23/2021 Adopt a Resolution of Intention, effective 10/7/2021, to transition from at-large to district-based elections … Continued


Community input is needed! Petaluma is seeking community input to determine how to best map district-based election boundaries. Now is your chance to have your voice heard. What would districts mean to you? What would you consider to be your district within Petaluma? What “communities of interest” or “neighborhoods” do you feel should remain intact? … Continued

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