What Is an Initiative - FAQs
The following information is provided to Culver City residents by the City Clerk’s Office of the City of Culver City with the intent of clarifying the initiative process and to answer the most frequently asked questions.
What is an initiative?
An initiative is a process, set forth in California Elections Code Section 9200, by which any member of the public may gather signatures to qualify a measure (e.g. an ordinance, law, etc.) to be placed on a ballot and voted upon at a future election. The initiative process is different from the City’s legislative process, during which the City Council determines to place a measure on the ballot.
How does an initiative get on the ballot?
In order to qualify for placement on the ballot of an upcoming regular or special municipal election, proponents of a proposed measure must follow the process outlined in the State Elections Code. Section 9200 provides for the initiative process. In addition, Section 1504 of the Charter of the City of Culver City provides that “all applicable provisions of the then current State law governing the initiative, referendum and recall processes shall apply, insofar as such provisions are not in conflict with this Charter.”
Why do proponents of a measure need residents to sign a petition?
In order for an initiative measure to qualify for placement on the ballot, proponents of the measure must obtain 10% the signatures of the registered voters in the City. As of February 10, 2019, there are 28,054 registered voters in the City.
What if I don’t understand what the petition means?
Proponents of a measure are required to print the full text of the measure, as well as the City Attorney’s impartial ballot title and summary, on the petition above the signature lines. You have the right, and are encouraged, to read it completely and to ask questions before you decide whether or not to sign the petition. It is a misdemeanor for the person gathering signatures on a petition to misrepresent or intentionally make a false statement regarding the contents, purpose or effect of the petition, or to refuse to allow a potential signer to read a petition or proposed measure. In addition, you have the right to ask the person gathering signatures on a petition any of the following questions:
- Are you a volunteer or a paid signature-gatherer?
- If compensated, how much are you being paid?
- If compensation is non-monetary, what kind of compensation are you receiving?
What if I sign the petition, but change my mind later and want to rescind my signature?
Any voter who has signed any petition, and who subsequently wishes his/her name withdrawn, may do so by filing a written request (including his/her name, residential address, handwritten signature and date) for the withdrawal of the signature with the City Clerk’s Office. This request must be filed prior to the date the petition is filed with the City Clerk. Written requests should be provided to the City Clerk’s Office at (310) 253-5851, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail at or brought in person to 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232.
What other information can I obtain regarding a proposed measure?
If you would like a copy of the full text of the measure, or if you have any other questions related to measures or elections, please call the City Clerk’s Office at (310) 253-5851 or email email@example.com.