Measure N – Elections & Redistricting

On June 21, 2016, the Stockton City Council approved placing City Charter Amendments on the November 8, 2016, General Election ballot by a vote of 7 – 0, adopting Resolution 2016-06-21-1501-01.  Measure N passed with 59.38 percent of the voters approving these changes to the City's Charter.


Measure N - Approved by Voters

  • Establishes a new process for making changes to City Council District boundaries,
  • Makes election of City Councilmembers by voters within each district, and
  • Clarifies existing term limit  provisions.


This ballot measure seeks voter approval of amendments to the Charter of the City of Stockton, Articles II, VI, VII, and XI. The proposed changes were reviewed and evaluated by the citizen Charter Review Advisory Commission and approved by the Stockton City Council.


Ballot Question 

The following ballot question will be submitted to the voters at the municipal election called for on Tuesday, November 8, 2016:


"Shall the Stockton City Charter be revised to establish an advisory redistricting commission; require City Council approval of City Council district boundaries; provide for the election of City Council exclusively by district and to rephrase existing term limit provisions?"


Impartial Analysis

The following impartial analysis of the proposed ballot measure has been prepared by the City Attorney and will appear in the Voter Information Guide for City of Stockton voters:


The measure would amend Article II of the Stockton City Charter to provide that on or before February 1, in the year following each decennial census, an Advisory Commission of registered voters residing in the city be established. The Commission would include a member appointed by the Mayor, and members appointed by each member of the City Council from their respective districts. The Commission would use data from the census, as well as other data, to develop recommendations for City Council consideration as to the boundaries of the Council districts following public outreach and hearings throughout the city. The Commission recommendations should be complete within 120 days of receipt of the census data. The City Council would determine the new district boundaries following at least one public hearing on the Commission recommendations prior to the public hearing in which the Council votes to approve, modify or reject the proposed boundaries.


The measure would provide for redistricting standards that require each district be nearly equal in population; require compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act and other applicable provisions of state and federal law; and give consideration to (1) topography, (2) geography, (3) cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity and compactness of territory, and (4) community of interest of the districts.  The districts would be numbered sequentially, with the northeastern most section of the city numbered District 1.


The measure would amend Articles VI and VII of the Stockton City Charter to provide for the nomination and election of members of the City Council by District. If adopted, this would be first effective for the primary election in June of 2018.


At the primary municipal election voters would cast ballots for City Council candidates from their district.  If one candidate at the primary municipal election receives a majority of the votes cast by the electors in his or her district that candidate would be elected. If no candidate within a district receives a majority of the votes cast by the electors in that district, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes would qualify as candidates for the runoff election in that district at the general municipal election. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes from the electors in his or her district at the general municipal election would then be elected.


The measure would amend section 606 to provide that no person elected as Mayor would be eligible to serve more than two terms as Mayor; and no person elected to City Council would be eligible to serve more than two terms on the City Council.


Ballot Arguments


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure N?

Measure N is a ballot measure to amend the City of Stockton Charter.  It proposes updates and changes to the Stockton Charter:

  • Redistricting by assigning the City Council responsibility for designating new Council District boundaries immediately following each U.S. Census, which occurs every 10 years, and
  • Changes the current election process so that Councilmembers are both nominated and elected by the voters within the district they represent, and
  • Clarifies how many terms a qualified individual may serve as Mayor and Councilmember.


What is a Charter? How long have we had a City of Stockton Charter?

A City Charter is a set of governing laws that allows the city to adopt ordinances and codes which are laws that specifically address the needs of the city.  The City of Stockton was founded in 1849 and was granted a City Charter by the State Legislature in 1851.  The first Stockton Charter was approved by voters was in 1888, and a new Charter was approved by voters in 1922.  Changes to the Charter require voter approval.  Throughout the years, voters have approved numerous updates and amendments to the Stockton Charter.


Why have these changes been proposed and who is proposing them?

These Charter amendments have been proposed to update and clarify language, modernize and adapt to changing conditions, and to remove sections and language that conflict with State law.  These changes were proposed by a Charter Review Advisory Commission comprised of citizens.


What amendments are included in Measure N?

Measure N makes changes to the Charter regarding: redistricting, Council elections, and term limits.



Currently, Council district boundaries are adjusted by the City Clerk, per Article II, Section 200. Districts, following the U.S. Census, in conformance with standards listed in the same section of the Charter.


Measure N proposes that the City Council appoint an Advisory Commission, under Section 201.

  • On or before February 1, following the year of the U.S. Census, which takes place every ten years, the Advisory Commission will examine data and develop recommendations to the City Council for Council District boundaries.
  • Recommendations will be based on standards included in a new section of the Charter, Section 202. Redistricting Standards.


Measure N also proposes the addition of Section 203, Council Determination of Boundaries of Council Districts. 

  • This section requires the City Council to hold a public hearing on proposed boundary changes, before the Council votes to approve, modify or reject changes proposed by the Advisory Commission.


Council Elections

Currently, Council candidates are nominated by the voters within the district they serve in the primary election, and the Councilmember is elected by vote of the entire City electorate, at-large, in the general election.


Measure N proposes changes to Section 601. Councilmembers.

  • Changes the title of Section 601. to “Councilmembers Nominated and Elected by District.”
  • In compliance with State law, proposes nomination and election of Council candidates and Councilmembers by the voters within their respective Council District, in both the primary and general elections.


Term Limits

Measure N makes changes to Section 606. Term Limits.

  • Rephrases the wording to clarify that a person elected as Mayor is eligible to serve as Mayor for two (2) terms, and a person elected as Councilmember may serve as a Councilmember for two (2) terms.


Are there any other proposed changes to the City Charter?

There are text changes in other sections of the Charter that support the changes proposed under Measure N, including:

  • Section 704. Primary and General Election Candidates.
  • Section 1100. Mayor.


Is there more information?

A complete copy of the proposed changes is available as part of the June 21, 2016, City Council Meeting Agenda Item 15.1. Following are inks to the Council Resolution and a copy of the proposed changes:

 Please also see Measure O, City Charter Amendments Fiscal Matters and Council Compensation.


External Links

California Secretary of State - Ballot Initiative Guide

San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/15/2016