Office of the City Attorney
Attn. Campaign Guidance
200 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Ph: (408) 535-1900
Fx: (408) 998-3131
The City Attorney’s Office provides legal interpretation of the San José Municipal Code regarding elections and ethics. This includes:
- Written guidance for candidates and initiative petitioners on complying with San José election law.
- Responding to questions about San José election law, including campaign compliance and reporting contributions.
- Inquiries about San José's Code of Ethics, including accepting gifts and lobbying requirements.
Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)
The FPPC is the State agency that interprets and enforces the Political Reform Act. The Political Reform Act contains California's ethics and election laws, and includes regulations on campaign finance, financial conflicts of interest, and gifts and honoraria given to public officials and candidates.
Although the City Attorney’s Office may provide information on State law as it relates to San José's ethics and election laws, the FPPC is ultimately responsible for interpreting its rules. Relying on advice from the City Attorney's Office is not a defense in an inquiry on whether State law has been violated.
The FPPC provides advice on the requirements of the Political Reform Act through its Advice Line at 1-866-ASK-FPPC (1-866-275-3772) or email@example.com.
Office of the City Clerk
The City Clerk is the City of San José Elections Official. All election and campaign forms must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office, and any questions about completing and filing these forms can be directed to the Office of the City Clerk.
Campaign Guidance Legal Opinions
- January 10, 2020 - San Jose Notice to Voters Requirement
- November 15, 2019 - 24-hour reports of contributions
- October 31, 2019 - Campaign signs disclosures
- October 28, 2019 - Campaign contributions
- May 22, 2018 - Questions about San Jose Campaign Finance Requirements
- April 18, 2018 –Merged Disclaimers for Independent Expenditure Committees, Electioneering Communications
- November 13, 2017 – Contribution Solicitation Online
- June 6, 2016 - City Councilmember Candidates’ FAQs for the November 8, 2016 General/Run-off Election
- April 5, 2016 – Campaign signs
- April 4, 2016 – FCC equal time and campaign contributions
- March 15, 2016 – Donations from leftover campaign funds
- March 11, 2016 – Campaign sign font size and disclaimers
- March 3, 2016 – Candidate Form 700
- March 2, 2016 -- Campaign contributions and Council items
- March 1, 2016 – Lawn sign size, font size, disclaimer, address
- February 9, 2016 –Voluntary Campaign Expenditure Limit Program Eliminated
- February 1, 2016 – Campaign sign disclaimers
- December 15, 2015 – Primary Election left over funds
- December 15, 2015 – Social media posts
- September 4, 2015 – 2016 City Council Election Questions, forms, fundraising window, personal funds, campaign website, social media, campaign signs, meet and greets, campaign fund transfers
- June 4, 2015 – 2016 City Election, fundraising window, hosting coffees, personal loans
- May 7, 2014 – SJMC § 12.06.1010, electioneering communications
- April 22, 2014 – SJMC § 12.06.1010, electioneering communications
- April 10, 2014 – Campaign yard signs, electioneering communications
- April 8, 2014 – SJMC § 12.06.1010, electioneering communications street address and city
- March 13, 2014 – Invalid signatures determination
- March 4, 2014 – Personal funds, campaign contributions