A Christmas Prayer
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change…
The courage to change the things I can…
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Get to Know the City Council of Santa Rosa
The Santa Rosa City Council is comprised of seven members elected to serve four-year terms. They are elected using the newly adopted District System. Under Santa Rosa's new district-based election system, voters may only elect one council member for the district that they are registered in. To locate your district area, please visit the Find My District page and simply type in your address. It is possible that the current redistricting process may change the configuration of the districts. Currently three out of the seven council members have their seats coming up for election in 2022 which could impact how we elect our council members in the future.
Mayor Chris Rogers has history in Sonoma County. After Graduating from Rancho Cotati High School in 2005 he attended UC Santa Barbara to earn a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration from Sonoma State University. While attending college he began working in the office of California State Senator Patricia Wiggins. Soon after he began working as the Political Director on the “Allen for Assembly” political campaign in 2012, as well as working the Mark McGuire for State Senate campaign in 2014. His whole adult life has been involved in politics.
Mayor Rogers serves Council District 5 as a registered Democrat. He was first elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2016 and is serving his second term. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Mayor Rodgers at email@example.com
Vice Mayor Natalie Rogers first became politically active, serving as the Black Student Union Treasurer, Northern Chair for the California Black Caucus and the Student Trustee Elect. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor degree in Psychology and later on she earned her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. She became a case manager for Meals on Wheels and a service coordinator for the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, Texas. She also worked at Buckelew Housing in Marin, and R House, a group home in Santa Rosa. Vice Mayor Rogers now runs her own private practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist and works part time as a therapist for the County of Sonoma.
Vice Mayor Rogers serves Council District 7 as a registered Democrat. She was first elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2020 and is serving her first term. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Vice Mayor Rodgers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Eddie Alvarez was born and raised in the Roseland District of Santa Rosa which is in District 1, the district he now represents. He chose to get involved in politics when he felt law enforcement was harassing his community with DUI checkpoints every Friday evening on Sebastopol Road in 2007-08.
Since that time, he has become a local business owner as he owns “The Hook Dispensary” which serves the Latino Community. He decided to run for City Council to give the Latino Community a voice. Now that the new District Policy is in place, he wanted a Latino Presence to represent the Roseland Community. Roseland has forever been one of the poorer communities in Santa Rosa and has been the most forgotten when it comes to the city funding for parks, street repair and overall quality of life.
Council Member Alvarez serves Council District 1 as a registered Democrat. He was first elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2020 and is serving his first term. He is the only Latino on the City Council and only the second Latino to ever be elected to the Santa Rosa City Council. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Council Member Alvarez at email@example.com
Council Member John Sawyer has been a stalwart in Santa Rosa. He is a fourth generation Santa Rosa Native. He once owned and operated Sawyer News that was located on Fourth Street since 1945 to when it closed down in 2010. His time on the city council has seen him serve as Vice Mayor once and as Mayor twice. His City Council appointments include Long Term Financial Policy and Audit Subcommittee, the Cannabis Subcommittee and the Downtown Subcommittee. He has voted to approve legislation to increase housing stock in the city. He has been implemental in the progressive mentality of transit-oriented projects that puts a high density of citizens near public transportation. One can see the new buildings go up by the SMART Train Stations on Dutton Avenue and Third Street and College Avenue and Cleveland Avenue that offer minimal parking for their tenants in a push to have tenants use public transportation.
Council Member Sawyer serves Council District 2 as a registered Democrat. He was first elected to the Santa Rosa City Council in 2004 and is serving his fifth term. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022. You can email Council Member Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Jack Tibbets became the youngest City Council Member at age 26. He earned a Political Science Degree at UC Berkeley and interned for Congressman Mike Thompson. Once He graduated, he worked for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board where he started looking at the housing problem in Santa Rosa. He suggested that the county take unused county property and utilize it for the homeless. This stemmed the idea for the Los Guilicos Shelter. As current Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Sonoma County he is able oversee the operational management of the Los Guilicos Shelter. He was active in trying to get Measure N passed for the provision of “affordable housing”
Council Member Tibbets serves Council District 3 as a registered Democrat. He is serving his second term on the City Council. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Council Member Tibbets at email@example.com
Council Member Tibbets has just announced that he is resigning from the Council. It has not been decided if the seat will be filled by appointment or election.
Council Member Victoria Fleming is a former member of the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee who stands with the leftist progressive movements that are becoming so popular. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Women's Studies from San Francisco State University and a Masters degree in Social Work from the U.C. Berkeley School of Social Welfare.
In April of 2021 she was appointed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors with the influence of her mentor and Sonoma County Supervisor, Chris Coursey, to represent Sonoma County on the MTC Commission (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) The MTC Commission not only includes our transportation system but also includes housing and development as well. This plays a big part in the idea of stacked housing near the SMART Train that Santa Rosa is currently implementing as she is working to support an all-hands-on deck approach to climate change. She has been quoted as saying: “This is the biggest threat to our economy and our welfare and I am proud to be on a team that takes this very seriously.”
Council Member Fleming serves Council District 4 as a registered Democrat. She is serving her first term on the City Council. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022. You can email Council Member Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Tom Schwedhelm is a long-term resident of Santa Rosa. He began his career as an officer for the Santa Rosa Police Department in 1983. He was Police Chief for his final five years and retired after serving Santa Rosa for thirty-one years. He has a degree in Administration of Justice, Business Management and Psychology: Organizational Development.
Soon after retiring, he was elected to the Santa Rosa City Council where he also served as Mayor in 2018. In 2020 he posted an informational video encouraging citizens to wear face coverings in which case he chose to wear a “Thin Blue Line” face covering. He was immediately called a Fascist for doing so even though this represents unified justice for police and the public they serve as well as a remembrance of fallen Police Officers.
Council Member Schwedhelm serves Council District 6 as a registered Democrat. He is serving his third term on the City Council. Council Member Schweldhelm announced in October that he will not be running for re-election. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Council Member Schweldhelm at email@example.com
The open session of the regular meeting is held in the Council Chamber at City Hall and generally begins at 4 p.m. Public study sessions are held in the Council Chamber prior to the 4 p.m. open session. The public is invited to attend and participate in all open sessions of City Council meetings. The open sessions of regular Council meetings are televised live on Comcast Channel 28 and AT&T Channel 99. Meetings are rebroadcast on Wednesdays beginning at 6:30 p.m., and on Saturdays beginning at 11 a.m. Learn about how to participate in Virtual Public Meetings here.