About the City Council
The Santa Ana City Council is composed of seven members, which consist of the Mayor and six councilmembers. Councilmembers are nominated from one of six geographic wards in the City and then elected citywide. The councilmembers serve a four-year term and are limited to three consecutive terms. The Mayor is directly elected at-large and has term limits of no more than four two-year terms. The Mayor Pro Tem is nominated and elected from among the City Council.
City Council meetings are open to the public and are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Closed session meetings are held at 5:00 p.m., immediately followed by the regular business meeting at approximately 5:45 p.m.
The meetings are held in the City Council Chamber, located at 22 Civic Center Plaza Santa Ana, CA 92701 or as noted on the agenda.
About the City Council wards
The City of Santa Ana is divided into 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 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).
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 were elected by-district.