League of California Cities

Charter Cities

Did you know that, under certain home rule provisions in California's state constitution, voters can exercise a greater degree of local control than that provided by the California Legislature? Becoming a charter city allows voters to determine how their city government is organized and, with respect to municipal affairs, enact legislation different than that adopted by the state.

In 2001, the Institute for Local Government, nonprofit research affiliate of Cal Cities and the California State Association of Counties, teamed up with the Hastings Public Law Research Institute to create an informational resource for those interested in understanding more about this special form of local control.

Cal Cities is grateful to everyone who helped with this project including Phillip Hall of UC Hastings and the Hastings Public Law Research Institute; Karl Berger of Jenkins & Hogin LLP; Betsy Strauss (Cal Cities special counsel); John Cook (former city attorney, Indian Wells); and Harvey Levine (city attorney, Fremont).

In 2007, Cal Cities updated these resources and the new documents can be found below. Cal Cities would like to thank Hilda Cantú Montoy (attorney at law) for her help with the update. 

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