Council Tracker

For ballot-wide 2018 voter resources click here.

One-of-a-kind city council Vote Trackers

We know that different people define progress differently. So rather than endorsing candidates, we compiled actual voting records to help you make your own informed judgments about which of our incumbent council candidates served you best. In 2018, Palo Alto City Council Members Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, and Cory Wolbach are all seeking re-election.

To boil down the hundreds of votes in 2017 and 2018, we focused on the hot topics that have dominated public discourse: narrow (5 to 4) or controversial decisions and adopted policies related to housing.

Vote Tracker - Narrow VotesNarrow or controversial decisions

For the Controversial Decisions Vote Tracker we included only those motions decided by a narrow 5-4 margin or that stimulated notable public controversy. Such votes typically indicate sharp disagreement among council members and/or in the community as a whole.

A useful companion to our vote tracker, and in addition to their election guide below, the Palo Alto Weekly has compiled it’s editorials on city issues from the past two years that flesh out some of the controversies that have swept the community. The Weekly’s editorials on school issues is also well worth review to put the candidate debates in context.

Vote Tracker - HousingAdopted housing policies

For the Housing Vote Tracker we included all adopted housing-related policies. Contrary to popular rhetoric, there was “across the aisle” agreement among the incumbent city council members seeking re-election in 2018 on nearly every housing action over the past two years. Where housing motions passed or failed it was typically by at least a two-thirds margin. Thus we thought the full list of adopted policies offered the benefit of showing where incumbent candidates diverged while also presenting the big picture of what’s happened on housing.

Vote Tracker Methodology

The vote trackers were compiled from the council’s action minutes, in most cases taking language directly from the motion itself. Where the exact language was lengthy, technical, or required significant explanation, we used short, simple descriptions consistent with local news coverage. We strove for completeness, accuracy, and neutrality, but if we’ve missed something important (or gotten something wrong!), please let us know. We’re happy to make updates.