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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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City of Hayward
Measure OO - 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


37,696 votes yes (67.04%)

18,530 votes no (32.96%)

100% of precincts reporting (65/65).

To create more opportunities for residents to volunteer, and to honor Hayward's commitment to diversity, shall the Charter of the City of Hayward be amended to eliminate the requirement of being a qualified elector/registered voter to serve on City Council-appointed advisory commissions, and shall the Charter be amended to eliminate gender-based designations and titles and instead use neutral, gender-free designations and titles?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

YES vote means

 A ‘yes’ vote means the two sets of amendments are approved.

NO vote means

 A ‘no’ vote means the two sets of amendments are not approved.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Hayward city attorney Michael S. Lawson


 In accordance with the California Constitution, voters may enact a city charter to govern their city government. The City of Hayward was incorporated in 1876, with its Council/Manager form of government enacted in 1956. Voters approved amendments in 1959, 1964, 1975, 1982, 1992, 1994, and most recently in 2016 when general municipal elections were moved from June to November. In many respects, however, the 1956 charter is outdated.

 Hayward voters will be asked to update the charter on November 3, 2020. The ballot question, if adopted, proposes amendments better reflective of the diversity of the city’s 160,000 residents.

 The first proposed amendment changes the criteria to serve as a volunteer on an advisory body. Among the advisory bodies affected by the change are the Library Commission, Community Services Commission, Personnel Commission, Planning Commission, and the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force. Currently, an applicant must be a ‘qualified elector.’ ‘Qualified elector’ is a 1950s version of ‘registered voter.’ A registered voter must be a resident of the city and U.S. citizen.

 The proposed amendment eliminates the requirement of being a ‘qualified elector’ to serve on advisory bodies. The City Council, by resolution or ordinance, is otherwise authorized to establish criteria for selection. The requirement that elective city officers, specifically the Mayor and members of the City Council, be qualified electors would remain in place and not change.

 On January 1, 2020, California law was updated to eliminate U.S. citizenship as a requirement for appointment to non-elective advisory service. While it is not clear if Government Code sec. 1020 applies to charter cities, it is an important policy statement consistent with this proposed charter amendment.

 The second proposed charter amendment would replace gender-based designations and titles with neutral, gender-free designations and titles. For example, the terms ‘Councilmen’ and ‘Councilman’ would be replaced with ‘Council member’ or ‘Council members.’ In the case of ‘Chairman,’ or ‘he’ or ‘his,’ those male references would be replaced with gender-neutral designations such ‘Mayor’ or ‘Presiding Officer,’ or gender-neutral possessive terms like ‘the Mayor’s’ or ‘the Presiding Officer’s.’

 A survey of cities in the Bay Area found that city charters and codes have been updated by their voters or city councils, respectively, to use neutral, gender-free designations and titles. Only Hayward retains the 1950s gender-based male designations and titles.

 A ‘yes’ vote means the two sets of amendments are approved.

 A ‘no’ vote means the two sets of amendments are not approved.

 The ballot question requires a simple majority vote for approval. A simple majority of 50% of voters voting on the question, plus one additional vote.

 This analysis is prepared by the City Attorney of the city of Hayward, pursuant to Elections Code sec. 9280.


 City Attorney, City of Hayward

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Argument in Favor of Measure OO

 The City of Hayward is one of the most diverse cities in our state and nation, and we are committed to being an inclusive community that serves all residents in a fair and equitable manner. In 2017, the City Council unanimously accepted a report from a community task force charged with updating the city’s anti-discrimination policy. This report reaffirmed the city’s commitment to strategies and practices that celebrate diversity and promote participation by all residents regardless of place of origin and immigration status, among other personal characteristics. Unfortunately our city charter, initially adopted in 1956, mandates that all members of Council appointed boards and commissions be “qualified electors,” meaning that they must be registered to vote in Hayward and consequently must be U.S. citizens. This Charter requirement excludes many members of our community from being considered for appointments because they lack citizenship status and cannot register to vote. As a consequence, many otherwise engaged members of our community are prevented from serving on important advisory boards.

 In January 2020 California law was updated to eliminate US citizenship as a requirement for appointment to non-elective advisory service. Measure __ would bring Hayward into compliance with this new legislation and will remove the “qualified elector” requirement in support of our city’s commitment to inclusion.

 The proposed amendment will further eliminate gender-based titles and pronouns that seem to assume only males occupy leadership positions defined in the Charter, even though such assumptions have not been accurate for many years. Approval of Measure __ will remove barriers that now block full participation by some City residents on advisory boards and commissions and will make Hayward’s charter consistent with current principles and practices. Vote yes on Measure __ to ensure fairness and inclusion for all Hayward residents.


President, Hayward South Alameda County NAACP


Mayor, City of Hayward


Council Member, City of Hayward


Chairperson/Commissioner Community Services Commission


Community Advisory Panelist to Chief of Police

— City of Hayward web site

Arguments AGAINST

No arguments were received in opposition of the measure.

— City of Hayward web site

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation



 The following Charter amendments are proposed by the City Council, on its own motion, to be submitted to the voters of the City of Hayward at the Presidential General Election to be held November 3, 2020:

 1. Proposed Charter amendment providing for the modification of Section 900 by eliminating the requirement for U.S. citizenship as a criterion for service on the Council’s appointed boards, commissions, committees, task forces and similar advisory bodies.


 The City Council proposes that Section 900 of the Hayward City Charter be amended to read in full as follows:


There shall be the boards and commissions enumerated in this Article which shall have the powers and duties stated herein. The number of members to comprise any board or commission shall be determined by ordinance or resolution of the Council. No member of any board or commission shall be a member of any other board or commission or hold any paid office or employment, in the City Government. In order to be eligible for any appointment to any board or commission, a person shall be a qualified elector of the City. An applicant for any appointment to any board or commission shall be a resident of the City but need not be a qualified elector.

 In addition, the Council may create by ordinance or resolution such boards or commissions as in its judgment are required and may grant to them such powers and duties as are consistent with the provisions of this Charter.

 2. Proposed Charter amendment providing for the elimination of gender-specific pronouns and their replacement with non-gender specific titles.


The City Council proposes that the Hayward City Charter be amended in its entirety as set forth in Attachment I.

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