Support the DC Fair Elections Bill
Empower Small Donors in DC Elections
When candidates for the D.C. Council rely on large contributions from corporate interests, the needs of everyday District residents — like affordable housing, good schools and dependable public transportation — too often take a back seat once they are elected.
The D.C. Fair Elections bill would go a long way toward ensuring our needs are prioritized and addressed.
Send an email to members of the D.C. Council urging them to hold hearings on the D.C. Fair Elections Act immediately.
What the Bill Does
The Fair Elections Act of 2017 is a small donor empowerment program providing limited public matching funds at a 5:1 ratio to candidates who agree not to accept contributions over $100. This system would put voters back in the driver’s seat of our elections by allowing candidates relying on small donors to compete with big money candidates. Instead of dialing for dollars in search of the biggest checks, candidates could fund their campaigns by appealing to everyday constituents.
Why it Matters
One person, one vote: That’s how we’re taught elections in our democracy are supposed to work. Candidates should compete to win our votes by revealing their vision, credentials and capabilities. We, the people then get to decide who should represent us.
Except these days there's another election: Call it the money election. And in the money election, most people don’t have any say at all. Instead, a few super-wealthy individuals and corporations back the candidates they think will raise enough money to run the kind of high-priced campaign it takes to win.
Push back against the tide of big money by strengthening the voices of everyday Americans and encourage increased participation.
I am writing to urge you to request a hearing in the Judiciary Committee on the D.C. Fair Elections bill, which would make matching funds available to candidates who seek small donations and reject campaign contributions from Big Business.
Small donor public financing of elections has seen great success in New York City — and it represents a real commitment to amplifying the voices of small donors in local politics and diluting the influence of wealthy special interests.
The consensus within the District is overwhelming. A City Paper poll found that 80% of D.C. residents support public financing of District elections and over 60 organizations — from D.C. Working Families and D.C. Sierra Club to D.C. Fair Budget Coalition and beyond — support the fair elections bill we are writing about. I am calling on you to champion local democracy by voting for the DC Fair Elections Bill.
Thank you for your time. Sincerely,
Council of the District of Columbia
You can send email, letters, or call Council-members directly.