Victory for Measure X1: Berkeley Fair Elections

yes on x1

On Nov. 8, 2016, 64% of Berkeley voters approved Measure X1, the Fair Elections Act, empowering small donors in local elections.

In Berkeley, seven out of eight of the last council elections have gone to the candidate who raised the most money, as did the last mayor’s race. High costs campaigns produce many negative effects on our elections system, including:

  • The ability to run for public office is becoming limited to those who are either wealthy or have connections to wealth.
  • Candidates and elected officials may prioritize large contributors more than the concerns of their constituents.
  • The perception that large contributors may gain disproportionate influence erodes public faith in government.

How it Works:

To qualify for Fair Elections funds, Berkeley candidates must collect at least 30 small dollar donations between $10 and $50. Local candidates who choose to participate in the Fair Elections program will receive $6 in public funds for every $1 raised in small contributions. Fair Elections candidates may only accept contributions of $50 or less and may not spend more than $50 of their personal funds on their campaign. Only contributions from Berkeley residents will be matched.

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