Voting is your chance to have your voice heard, to exercise a fundamental democratic right, to make your opinion count.

Much is at stake for our nation in this mid-term election, but critical decisions closer to home will be made as well, including who will lead the City of San Luis Obispo as elected officials and whether to repeal a gas tax that provides much-needed funding for local transportation improvements.

The Chamber’s advocacy and education are a valued part of what we do, as you tell us year after year, so each election season, we devote many hours of committee, Board and staff time to pull together guidance and resources to help you make informed decisions at the polls.

We hope these resources help you sort out your options – whether at the ballot box Nov. 6 or voting by mail from the comfort of your own home.

But first ... make sure you're registered

First things first, make sure you are registered to vote. Check your voter status here, and if you’re not good to go, register online here or stop in the Visitor Center and we’ll get you sorted. The deadline is Oct. 22, so act fast.

You can also save a trip to the polls and register to vote by mail, as nearly 70 percent of SLO County residents do. Request a vote-by-mail ballot here up to seven days before the election.

While you’re at it, encourage everyone you know – coworkers, relatives, friends, new citizens and new voting-age citizens – to register and cast their ballots, too. As recent elections both here and nationwide have proven, every vote really does count.

2018 Voter Guide

Navigating the Ballot

This year’s ballot, like most others, doesn’t just feature candidates for office; it also presents a host of ballot measures and initiatives for your consideration. Two Chamber committees and the Board of Directors studied several that could affect business in and around San Luis Obispo to determine a position.

Our handy Voter Guide presents those positions clearly and concisely. View or download the Voter Guide.

SLO City

MEASURE F – Cannabis Business Tax
YES, as it sets up reasonable taxation for this emerging industry


PROPOSITION 3 – Water bond
YES, as it supports a steady water supply for our community and aligns with the Chamber’s conservation values

PROPOSITION 5 – Property transfer tax
NO, as it could make homes in SLO less affordable for locals, hurt schools and hurt our economy

PROPOSITION 6 – Gas tax repeal
NO, as it would worsen traffic, make roads more dangerous and take away approximately $1 billion for local improvements

San Luis Obispo Mayoral candidates

First-term Mayor Heidi Harmon is facing challenges from T. Keith Gurnee and Donald Hedrick.

The three candidates submitted written responses to a series of questions important to the business community in our We asked, the SLO City Mayoral candidates answered feature. They answered other pressing questions in a series of short videos below.

The candidates explain what they believe has the biggest negative impact on business in the City of SLO and how they would address it.

The candidates describe what they would do to help the city transition to a post-Diablo Canyon Power Plant economy:

The candidates share their top two priorities for the 2019-21 major city goals:

Videos by Chamber Member SLOtography.

San Luis Obispo City Council candidates

Seven candidates are vying for two open spots on the SLO City Council: incumbent Carlyn Christianson, Sarah Flickinger, Abe Lincoln, James Lopes, Jeffery Specht, Erica Stewart, and Bob Voglin.

The Chamber held a forum Sept. 21 to give voters a chance to meet and talk with the candidates face to face.

Watch the candidates’ opening statements below, and see photos from the event.