Dec. 13, 2017
NOTE TO REPORTERS
Judiciary Committee Marking Up Fair Elections Act Today
The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety in Washington, D.C., today is marking up the Fair Elections Act of 2017 (B22-0192), which would strengthen local democracy, empower small donors and break down barriers to running for office.
Under the voluntary program, candidates would agree to take only small donations in exchange for a five-to-one match from a public fund – meaning a $20 donation would become a $100 donation. The cost of the program is miniscule, amounting to 0.006 percent of D.C.’s annual budget. The program would be available to candidates running for mayor, attorney general, D.C. Council or the D.C. State Board of Education.
Successful programs recently have been enacted in Montgomery and Howard counties and already exist in New York City and Connecticut. In D.C., such a program would amplify the voices of voters, particularly women and people of color, who frequently are drowned out by wealthier donors and corporate interests.
Many leading progressive organizations support the Fair Elections Act, including DC for Democracy, Sierra Club DC, DC Working Families, Demos, Every Voice, Fair Budget Coalition, Public Citizen, ONE DC, the Public Interest Research Group and others. It is supported by a supermajority of D.C. councilmembers. These groups and legislators are counting on the Judiciary Committee to vote the legislation out of committee and send it to the full council for passage.
The committee is marking up the legislation at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Room 123 of the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.