City Council Elections

This graphic depicts someone considering candidates.

Elections for City Council are held in November of even numbered years. Council Members are elected at-large and serve staggering four year terms. Every January the City Council chooses a Mayor by majority vote to serve a one year term.

Next City Council Election

This is the final list of candidates for the November 8, 2022 election.
Contact information was provided by the Candidates and is all that we are eligible to release to the public.

How Do I Run for City Council?

Nomination and Qualification

The nomination period opens on July 18, 2022 and closes on August 12, 2022. This is the time period where interested individuals must qualify to become City Council candidates. If an incumbent, or the currently seated elected official, does not file for re-election then the nomination period is extended for 5 more days to August 1, 2022. The nomination petition is filed with the City Clerk by appointment only, please use our online portal to book an appointment.

During the nomination period you are required to:

  • Obtain 25 signatures from Palo Alto registered voters nominating you for City Council
  • Submit a 200 word candidate statement that will appear in the Voter Guide
  • Submit your Ballot Designation, or the three words you want to appear next to your name on the ballot
  • Sign a Code of Fair Campaign Practices
  • Acknowledge the City’s Political Sign regulations

There are three eligibility requirements to run for City Council.

  1. Be Registered To Vote in Palo Alto
    Unless otherwise specifically provided, no person is eligible to be elected or appointed to an elective office unless that person is a registered voter and otherwise qualified to vote for that office at the time that nomination papers are issued to the person or at the time of the person’s appointment. (Elections Code Section 201)
  2. Have No Felony Convictions
    A person is disqualified from holding an office upon conviction of designated crimes as specified in the Constitution and laws of the state. (Government Code Section 1021)
  3. If Elected, You Have to Serve
    The Declaration of Candidacy, which each candidate must file, states that if elected the candidate will qualify for and accept the office. The affidavit also states that the candidate will not withdraw before the election. (Elections Code Section 8028, 8040, 10510, 10511)

Read our 2022 Candidate Guide for more information!

Campaign Finance

Campaign finance is governed by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) of the State of California. All candidates for state and local office and any committee formed to support or oppose a candidate or ballot measure are required to file campaign disclosure statements. The FPPC has manuals that walk you through the process. Candidates for City Council should review Manual 2: Information for Local Candidates. It is the responsibility of the candidate and/or committee to file the required campaign disclosure statements in a timely manner. If you have any questions please consult the FPPC's campaign disclosure manuals or ask the FPPC for advice

Additionally, candidates running for local office are required to file Form 700 (Statement of Economic Interests). Investments, interests in real property, and business positions held on the date of filing your declaration of candidacy must be reported. The City of Palo Alto uses the online system NetFile for entering and disclosing candidate's statements.

NetFile Employee/Elected Official Login

NetFile System Public Portal

Other Resources

Political Sign Regulations

Political signs may be erected in conformity with Section 16.20 in the Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC). Political signs do not require a permit but there are some regulations to follow.

  1. No sign shall be placed on any public property, including but not limited to any city building, sidewalk, crosswalk, curb, street lamp post, hydrant, tree, shrub, tree stake or guard, railroad trestle, wire pole, street sign, or traffic sign.
  2. Wall signs in residential districts shall not exceed an area of one square foot of sign for each forty square feet of wall area. Wall signs are allowed a minimum area of six square feet and maximum area of one hundred fifty square feet, regardless of wall area.
  3. Political signs must be completely removed no later than six days following the day of the election to which it relates. Any political sign not removed within six days shall be considered abandoned and shall be removed by the Building Division.
  4. Unsafe and unlawful signs may be removed by the Building Division or the Police Department.
  5. Before placing any signs or sign structures within view of a county or state highway, a statement by a responsible party with a notarized signature must be filed with the Chief of the Highway Outdoor Advertising Program, State Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 942874, Sacramento, CA 94274- 0001, or 1120 "N" Street (5th floor), Sacramento, California 98514.

Reporting Non-Compliant Signs

Please contact the City's Code Enforcement Division through PaloAlto311 or the City Clerk's Office at City.Clerk@cityofpaloalto.org to report non-compliant signs.