Santa Rosa's City Council expanded from five to seven members a decade ago; now city residents must decide whether their representatives will to continue to be elected at large, or from smaller districts within Santa Rosa.
One of the most striking disagreements in the debate over Measure Q (read the full text of the measure here) is in the ways that advocates for each side envision the future council members working together. For district election proponent Susan Shaw, the change would lead to more harmonious relations.
Former Mayor Jane Bender, however, worries about potential Balkanization of Santa Rosa.
District elections may be appropriate for other, larger cities, says Bender, but they are not a good fit for Santa Rosa.
But Shaw, Director of the North Bay Organizing Project, says a changing Santa Rosa would benefit from increased localization of political engagement throughout the city.
Santa Rosa is currently divided into five areas, each with its own Community Advisory Board, as shown below.