About the City Council Wards
The City of Santa Ana is divided by six geographic districts, called wards. The wards divide the city by population, meaning that each ward generally contains the same number of residents. With the exception of the Mayor, who serves at-large, the remaining six councilmembers are elected to represent one of the six wards.
The ward map changes from time to time--every 10 years or so--to account for changes in population. Since our City Council elections are sequenced (meaning that the election for council seats for wards 1, 3, and 5 are conducted during one election cycle, followed by the election for council seats for wards 2, 4, and 6 during the following election cycle two years later), every 10 years when we update the ward map we rely on two ward maps: the older map and the newer map. When this happens, there is an overlap of council wards because existing councilmembers who were elected to represent the wards when they were elected use the former ward map, while incoming councilmembers are elected and represent the wards according to the newer map--both of which have differing ward boundaries. Once the elections sequence is completed (meaning when all six council seats are elected according to the newer ward map), we'll only use one ward map.
About Ward-Based Elections
In 2018, the City of Santa Ana transitioned from at-large elections to by-district elections. At-Large elections means that all registered voters in the city elect each councilmember, whereas by-district elections means that only the registered voters who reside in a particular ward vote for the council seat for that ward. The first by-district election for council seats took place in November 2020 for wards 1, 3, and 5. In November 2022, the council seats for wards 2, 4, and 6 will also be elected by-district.
Approved 2020 Ward Map
- Sept 4 staff report to hold a public hearing on district composition and adopt a resolution setting forth legal criteria for district boundaries
- Sept 18 staff report for public hearing to get input on draft maps and transition plan
- Oct 16 staff report for public hearing to get input on draft maps and transition plan
- Oct 30 staff report to hold a public hearing to amend council ward boundaries and introduce ordinance to amend same
- Nov 20 staff report to hold a public hearing to introduce ordinance setting new ward boundaries and election sequence for new wards for the 2020 General Municipal Election council candidates
Proposed Ward Maps
- PowerPoint Presentation in English
- PowerPoint Presentation in Spanish
- PowerPoint Presentation in Vietnamese
Watch videos of the Community Meetings and Public Hearings held to date (search by date)
The Santa Ana City Council will hold a series of Community Meetings and Public Hearings to consider modifying the Ward boundaries to comply with both the Federal and California law, including the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
The Ward boundaries were last modified in January of 2012. Since then, the City received correspondence asserting that the City’s current at-large electoral system, whereby council members are elected by all of the city electors, violates the CVRA because it allegedly does not allow Asian-Americans (a protected class) to elect candidates of their choice or otherwise influence the outcome of Santa Ana’s council elections. Following receipt of this correspondence, the City Council decided to place a charter amendment on the November 6, 2018 General Municipal Election so that the electors of the City can decide whether to change the method of electing council members to a by-ward system where each council member is required to reside in the ward he or she represents and is elected solely by the electors of that ward. The City Council will consider changing the Ward boundaries to ensure that they are consistent with Federal and State law, including the CVRA. This re-boundary process will consist of a number of community meetings and public hearings to allow interested persons to give input on ward boundaries.
The City held four Community Outreach Meetings that provided an educational presentation to inform the public about the transition to by-ward elections and the City’s process for adopting ward boundaries. The Demographer presented sample mapping proposals, including Plan D that was included as part of Item 75B of the City Council’s May 15, 2018 meeting and is the preferred map for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and solicited community feedback.
Schedule of Public Hearings
The City Charter requires that Ward boundaries be of equal population and that the City Council hold at least one (1) public hearing to consider modifying those boundaries. The City will hold four (4) public hearings to consider ward boundaries over the next several months. The first two hearings are critical in that they will explain the re-boundary process, review the criteria used to modify Ward boundaries, and allow residents to submit their ideas for potential boundary lines. These two hearings will culminate in the development of proposed new Ward map(s). The remainder of the hearings will be to consider the proposed map(s), select the preferred map, and adopt the final new Ward map. The Public Hearing schedule is as follows:
Two (2) Public Hearings to review the Ward re-boundary process, hear from residents about their ideas for potential ward boundaries, and to receive City Council direction on the criteria to be considered for mapping of new Ward boundaries, were held:
- Tuesday, September 4th at 5:45 p.m. - Regular City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA
- Tuesday, September 18th at 5:45 p.m. - Regular City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA
Two (2) Public Hearings to seek resident input on the content of the draft Ward map(s) and sequence of elections, select a preferred Ward map, and to introduce an ordinance for adoption, will be held:
- Tuesday, October 16th at 5:45 p.m. - Regular City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA
- Tuesday, October 30th at 5:45 p.m. – Adjourned Regular City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA
Final adoption of ordinance setting the new boundaries for Wards. Pursuant to City Charter, approval of new Ward Boundaries require five (5) affirmative votes.
- Tuesday, November 20th at 5:45 p.m. - Regular City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA
For transparency and to encourage community participation, the City is providing information about the Ward re-boundary process on the City’s website and has set up a dedicated phone line in which residents may contact at (714) 647-6520, ext. 2520.
How To Make Comments - Copy of map(s) to be considered by the City Council will be posted on this site, as they become available. If you do not wish to appear at the public hearing, you may also send your written comments to the Clerk of the Council, by mail to City of Santa Ana, 20 Civic Center Plaza – M30, Santa Ana, CA 92701 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who To Contact For Questions - Should you have any questions, please contact the Clerk of the Council Office at 714-647-6520, ext. 2520 or email Clerk of the Council at email@example.com.
Where To Get More Information - All staff reports for City Council consideration are available for public inspection in the Clerk of the Council Office during regular business hours and posted on the City’s website the Friday before a Council meeting takes place at: http://santa-ana.org/city-meetings.
Si tiene preguntas en español, favor de llamar al (714) 647-6520, ext. 2520.
Nếu cần liên lạc bằng tiếng Việt, xin điện thoại cho Tony Lai số (714) 565-2627.