The filing period for the November 2nd Emeryville City Council Special Election to replace resigned Councilmember Christian Patz is coming to a close. The deadline for filing paperwork is this Friday, August 6th at 5 p.m..
To be eligible to run for office, a candidate must be a resident and registered voter in the city. The winning candidate would serve the remainder of Patz’ term, which will expire in December of 2024.
Two potential candidates have thus far emerged including Watergate resident Charlotte Danielsson-Chang and Christie Core resident Courtney Welch. Candidates will still need to obtain the recommended 30 signatures by registered Emeryville voters and file these papers with the city clerk prior to the deadline. It’s important to note that being issued nomination papers does not necessarily guarantee that they will complete the filing process.
Danielsson-Chang, an immigration attorney, emerged as a voice in the city as a Planning Commission candidate when she observed alleged impropriety in the Planning Commission selection process.
Welch is a policy and Communications Director who sits on the city’s Housing Committee.
Both candidates live in “Western” Emeryville (West of the railroad tracks) that does not currently have representation on council despite representing close to half the city’s population. If Danielsson wins, she would be the first Watergate resident to hold office since Nora Davis retired in 2016. Welch would be the first Black female councilmember since Nellie Hannon who served from 1983-87. This will be the first election since 2016 where new candidates have appeared on the city council ballot.
Voter turnout for special elections is generally much lower than general elections although should benefit from SB29 which requires all registered voters to automatically be sent ballots. It promises to be the first competitive election our city has seen since 2016 when six candidates vied for three open seats.
Curiously, this special election is not being held the same day as the Gubernatorial recall election which is slated for Tuesday, September 14. Having the elections on the same ballot could spur voter enthusiasm and participation. The voter registration deadline is 15 days before the election (October 17).
Currently, City Council Members receive an annual salary of $13,888.80.
Read more about the nomination process and how to pull papers on Emeryville.org.
Register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov.