Santa Clara currently has an election system that has resulted in a lawsuit that alleges a violation of the California Voting Rights Act. Measure A ensures the voters of Santa Clara will determine the best outcome for the city. We are using this as an opportunity for Santa Clara to implement an election system that creates a better balance of representation across the city and would ensure that every vote and every voice matters in our city elections.

Current Problems Benefits of Measure A
Fairness: Today, we have a winner-take-all system that shuts out some Santa Claran voters. Measure A will create a fairer system where minorities of any sort have a chance to win their fair share of representation on the council.
Fear of "Wasting your Vote" and "Splitting the Vote": Today, we use a system where you might have to vote strategically because your vote will be wasted if you vote for an unpopular candidate or multiple candidates run from the same community. Measure A will allow our city to use ranked choice voting. By ranking your candidates in order of preference, for example first choice, second choice, third choice, and so on, you're able to vote for who you really believe in. If your first choice candidate can't win, your vote can help your next choice candidate to win. No more wasted votes and fear of dividing your community--vote your conscience without worrying that your vote may help someone you don't like to win.
Limitations of the "Numbered Seat" Election System: Today, the current numbered seat election system means that you can only vote for one candidate out of a couple of choices for each seat. But what if two candidates you like are running for the same numbered seat? And you find that you don't much care for any of the candidates running for a different numbered seat?  Measure A will eliminate this problem. Your ballot will let you vote for all the candidates you like best, choosing from the total pool of candidates running in your district.  You can rank as many of them as you like in the order that you prefer them. Your vote will have more power to elect the people you like best to the council. 
Campaign Costs:  Today, in order to win, candidates for Santa Clara city council must campaign throughout our entire, growing city. That's getting increasingly expensive. Measure A allows for the city to shift to a two-district system, where candidates can focus on getting elected from half of the city in which they live, but will still have a broad focus to serve both your neighborhood and our city as a whole.

Ranked choice voting is as simple as voting to choose your favorite flavors of ice cream. It's used by millions of people across the country and around the world, including Australia, Ireland, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and by 16 colleges and universities in California. And everywhere it's been used, it's succeeded in electing representatives that better reflect the will of the voters.

No matter what, how the city conducts elections will be changing. If Measure A fails, the people who are suing our city now may succeed in their effort to get a judge to carve up our city into seven districts and have our council appoint our mayor instead of you being able to elect the mayor. Then you'd only get to vote for one councilmember every four years, instead of having the power to elect three.

Measure A was recommended by the Santa Clara Charter Review Commission, a group of 13 dedicated Santa Clara residents who were appointed by the city to study all alternatives and design the best election system possible. The city wanted a solution that works for Santa Clara and achieves the right balance of electing Santa Clara leaders who care about the interests of the city as a whole and the needs of our neighborhoods. Measure A is a much better solution for our city than having a judge or outside group force us to copy San Jose in how we do things.

You have an exciting opportunity to give your vote more power and create better elections in Santa Clara.

Vote Yes on Measure A on June 5th, 2018.