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How to Run for City Council in Ontario, California

3 min read
Ontario CA Politics Team · Nov 9, 2023

Embarking on a City Council campaign is an admirable endeavor that can lead to positive changes within your neighborhood. This step-by-step guide will assist you in navigating the process of campaigning for City Council in the vibrant city of Ontario, California.

Ontario: Gateway to the Inland Empire

Ontario, California, nestled in the heart of the Inland Empire, is a bustling city known for its rich agricultural history and as a warehousing and manufacturing hub due to its proximity to Los Angeles. The community in Ontario is diverse, with a blend of cultural influences reflected in local events and cuisine. Recently, the city has dealt with issues such as managing growth while maintaining sustainability, ensuring public safety in a rapidly expanding urban area, and addressing the community’s needs for affordable housing. These challenges are at the forefront of community discussions and are key considerations for anyone looking to contribute to the city's governance.

Understanding the Role of City Council

The Ontario City Council serves as the legislative backbone of the city, with responsibilities that include enacting local laws, shaping policies, and typically appointing a city manager to oversee administrative tasks. Here are the answers to top questions about the Ontario City Council’s role:

  • What does a City Council member do? Members of the Ontario City Council are tasked with making pivotal decisions that shape the future of the city, from passing local laws to setting strategic city policies.

  • Is the Ontario City Council a local, state, or national position? This role is firmly rooted at the city level, where officials are elected to represent and make decisions that directly impact the local community.

  • Is City Council a partisan or nonpartisan position? The position is nonpartisan, emphasizing sound governance over party affiliation.

Qualifications to Run for Ontario City Council

To determine if you're eligible to run for the Ontario City Council, consider the following criteria:

You must be a registered voter within Ontario and reside in the district you wish to represent, ensuring you are a voice from within the community.

Campaigning for City Council also involves gathering support from the electorate. The requirements for filing include a nominal filing fee capped at $25 and the collection of 20 to 30 signatures from registered voters.

The official filing location is at 777 E Rialto Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92415, and you can reach the office by phone at 909-387-8300. Candidate paperwork is processed at the county registrar of voters' office.

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How the Ontario City Council Is Elected

Elections for the Ontario City Council are pivotal events that shape the city's leadership. Here are the top things to know about the upcoming election:

  • When is the next election for Ontario City Council? The upcoming election is scheduled for the General Election on November 5, 2024.

  • How often is the Ontario City Council elected? Elections are held every four years, aligning with the broader electoral cycle.

For specifics on the election process, the local government's official website is a valuable resource.

Steps to Run for City Council in Ontario

To launch a successful campaign for City Council, follow these strategic steps:

  1. Understand your community’s needs and context. Immerse yourself in the local culture, history, and pressing issues that resonate with the residents of Ontario.

  2. Create a detailed campaign plan. Assemble a team that complements your strengths and strategize on how to connect with voters all the way to the polls.

  3. Complete all filing requirements. Plan meticulously to gather the necessary signatures and manage the financial aspects of your campaign.

  4. Develop effective campaign messaging. Craft messages that resonate, using various platforms to communicate your vision and plans.

  5. Build a strong online presence. A user-friendly campaign website and active social media engagement are crucial in today's digital world.

  6. Engage in voter outreach. From knocking on doors to digital messaging, make sure your voice reaches the electorate.

  7. Rally volunteers around your campaign. Energize and mobilize your supporters to amplify your campaign's reach.

  8. Get out the vote. Encourage a high voter turnout by motivating your supporters, especially those voting for the first time, to cast their ballots in the General Election.

Reasons to Run for Ontario City Council

Contemplating a run for City Council? Here's why it's a significant move:

  • Running for City Council gives you a chance to represent your community. It's an opportunity to listen and respond to the needs of your constituents, ensuring their voices are heard in city hall.

  • Running for City Council lets you advocate for key issues. Champion the causes that are close to your heart and the community, from affordable housing to public safety in Ontario.

  • Running for City Council gives voters more choice. Your candidacy can provide a fresh perspective, which is especially vital when challenging long-standing incumbents.

In essence, a City Council campaign is a profound way to serve Ontario and foster a thriving democratic environment.

Resources to Help You Run for City Council

Are you poised to make a difference in Ontario? is committed to supporting independent candidates from the moment you decide to run until the final votes are cast. We back candidates who prioritize community over party lines, offering free resources to bolster your campaign's impact. Reach out today to discover how's free tools and community can propel your journey to the City Council.

To become part of's growing community and connect with other independent candidates, you can also join's Discord server.

Photo by Silvia Fang on Unsplash

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How to Run for Office
Ontario CA
By Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.