Local Initiatives


California has a long history of changing law through the initiative process.  At the state level, petition drives have become big business with special interests paying petition circulators by the signature to get measures on the ballot that otherwise would not be passed by the state legislature.

At the local level, the basic rules for qualifying a measure for the ballot are the same as at the state level.  What's different is that most local initiative drives are conducted by people who are not well-versed in election law nor heavily bankrolled.  To help potential initiative proponents and other interested folks make sense of the process, the links below will take you to some basic resource material.  But keep this in mind:  proponents are responsible for the form and substance of the initiative and the Elections Office cannot provide legal advice.  The initiative process is intended to create a local ordinance with all the legal ramifications inherent therein.  We strongly urge people interested in creating an initiative to have competent legal counsel assist them.