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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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City of Pasadena
Measure AA - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


21,470 votes yes (83.01%)

4,394 votes no (16.99%)

100% of precincts reporting (60/60).

Shall the Pasadena City Charter be amended consistent with state law to: 1) change the City's primary and general election dates to coincide with statewide primary and general election dates, beginning with the November 2018 general election; 2) extend the current terms for the Mayor and Councilmembers by 19 months on a one-time basis in order to transition to the statewide election cycle; and 3) move the Mayor's thematic budget message to February?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney

Measure AA is submitted to the voters by the Pasadena City Council and would amend the Pasadena City Charter to provide for the election of the Mayor and Councilmembers in even-numbered years to align with statewide election dates and extend their current terms of office by 19 months on a one-time basis.


On January 8, 2018, the City Council of the City of Pasadena (“Council”) approved submission of an amendment to the Pasadena City Charter for voter approval to change the timing of future City elections to occur on statewide election dates in even-numbered years, consistent with a California Attorney General Opinion that the California Voter Participation Rights Act (“CVPRA,”) requires this change. The Council decided to maintain the current format of City elections, requiring successful candidates to receive a 50% plus 1 majority to be elected. To transition to statewide dates, the terms of office for the Mayor and City Council would be extended on a one-time basis by 19 months. On February 15, 2018, the Council approved proposed language to amend the City Charter, authorized the submittal of this amendment to the voters of the City and called the necessary special election.

The Measure

If passed, Measure AA would change the timing of the start of terms of office for Councilmembers and the Mayor to even years, beginning in 2020 and 2022, and respectively every four years thereafter, and terms would start at the Council’s Organizational meeting held five weeks following the November General election. To account for the impact of this change on the sitting Mayor and Councilmembers, the Measure would establish a one-time 19-month extension of terms for the current Mayor and City Council. The Measure provides additional time for the Mayor to deliver a thematic budget message at the State of the City Address.

By aligning Council elections with statewide elections, it is anticipated the Measure would increase voter turnout, reduce the City’s anticipated increases to election expenses, and ensure the integrity of the election process, by shifting responsibilities for elections to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

If Measure AA does not pass, the Mayor and Councilmembers will continue to be elected in odd-numbered years per the current Charter, and expenses for administering elections will increase. Continuing elections in odd-numbered years could be asserted in court to violate the CVPRA for not providing opportunity for increased voter participation, and could result in potential legal liability on the part of the City for damages, fees and costs.

Measure AA requires approval of a majority of voters. A “yes” vote for Measure AA will change the City Charter to be consistent with state law and would align City elections for Mayor and City Council to occur on statewide election dates in even-numbered years. It would result in a one-time extension of the current terms of office by 19 months. A “no” vote against Measure AA will maintain Mayor and City Council elections in odd-numbered years and would not extend the current terms of office.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Pasadena’s Charter requires that local elections be held in March/April of odd-numbered years. Historically, this timing has resulted in voter turnout significantly lower than state elections. In 2015, the state legislature passed the California Voter Participation Rights Act (CVPRA), shifting all “off-cycle” local elections onto statewide (even year) election dates.

In order to comply with state law, Pasadena’s Charter must be modified to move our election dates to the state timing. This should result in increased voter participation, control costs, and maintain election integrity and accuracy. Moreover, CVPRA contains punitive provisions for cities that do not comply.

Under this proposal, the current Primary/Runoff format of City elections will be maintained. Candidates for the offices of Mayor and City Council will be required to receive a 50%+1 majority in either the statewide Primary, or if not in the Primary, then in statewide General elections.

The transition from our odd-numbered year elections to statewide even-year election dates will result in the one-time extension of 19 months in the current terms of office for the Mayor and City Council to allow the start of new four-year terms in December of 2020 and 2022.

This Charter amendment will make certain that Pasadena is in compliance with State laws designed to enhance voter turnout.


City Councilmember

City Councilmember

City Councilmember

Arguments AGAINST


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