Basic Steps in Running for Office

The City of Emeryville is a charter city. The charter establishes that all municipal affairs are subject to General Laws of the State of California except in relation to municipal revenues. Thus, the City’s elections shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Elections Code of the State of California.

It’s easy to get started running for office. In order to be eligible to hold office as a member of the City Council, a person must be qualified to vote in an Emeryville election prior to the last day for filing of nomination papers as determined by applicable State law. In order to qualify as a registered voter in Emeryville, you must be a United States citizen; a resident of Emeryville; at least 18 years of age on the date of the next election, not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction and not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

During a specific period known as the “Nomination Period,” you may obtain your official papers from the Emeryville City Clerk. A minimum of 20, and a maximum of 30 registered Emeryville voters must sign your papers to nominate you. Once your papers are complete, turn them in to the Emeryville City Clerk. Your signatures will be validated by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Before starting your campaign, you’ll need to become familiar with a number of other requirements. This is not an all-inclusive list, so please be sure to check with the Emeryville City Clerk on other requirements.  The details and more information will be given to you if you decide to run and make an appointment to receive the nomination packet to run for a City Council seat.  

Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Rules and Requirements

You and your treasurer will need to become conversant with the rules of the Political Reform Act, which is the State law that regulates contributions and expenditures for elective offices in California. The Fair Political Practices Commission (the FPPC) has regulatory responsibility and authority for the Act. The day-to-day implementation of the Act for City offices is the responsibility of the Emeryville City Clerk.

FPPC manuals and forms are available from the FPPC website or from the Emeryville City Clerk’s office.

If you plan on receiving or spending more than $2,000 on your campaign, here are some things you’ll need to do:

  • Get a copy of Campaign Manual 2 from the FPPC website or from the City Clerk; read it and give a copy to your Treasurer.
  • Check with the City Clerk to become familiar with any special requirements your City has regarding campaign contributions and expenditures, particularly those related to contribution limits and times during which contributions may be accepted.
  • Before you collect or spend any funds in connection with your campaign, file a Fm 501, Candidate Intention Statement.
  • Open a bank account for your committee.
  • Within 10 days of receiving $2,000 in contributions, file a Form 410, Statement of Organization.
  • Become familiar with campaign report filing requirement and deadlines.
  • Attend an FPPC seminar (information available on the FPPC website or call the FPPC at 916-322-5660).

How to Run for Office

Nomination Papers
Every election starts with a “Nominating period.” This is the period of time that begins 113 days before the day of the election and ends 88 days before the day of the election. This is the only period of time during which you can obtain “nomination papers,” which are the forms you need to submit in order to run for office. Contact your City Clerk for an appointment to receive nomination papers.

Obtain Signatures
Obtain the signatures of a minimum of 20, maximum of 30 registered voters on your nomination papers.

Ballot Designation
This is the word or group of not more than three words which will appear on the ballot under your name. It designates your principal profession, vocation occupation, subject to certain requirements of the Elections Code.  More information on allowable Ballot Designations will be provided during your appointment to receive nomination papers. 

Candidate’s Statement
Candidates are allowed but not required to file a Candidate's Statement, in which you can outline your qualifications and experience. Your statement is limited to 200 words, as defined by the Elections Code, and will be counted by the City Clerk upon submission. Detailed information about the allowable format and content of a Candidate's Statement will be provided during your appointment to receive nomination papers.  There is no cost to the candidate for filing a Candidate's Statement. 

Campaign Signs
Campaign sign regulations vary greatly from city to city. Check with your City Clerk regarding the City’s political sign ordinance and requirements.

Contact the City Clerk's Office for more information.

Sheri Hartz, CMC
City Clerk
City of Emeryville
1333 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 450-7800