Common Cause North Carolina is leading an effort to promote the option of public financing for local elections. (If you're not familiar with the concept of public financing, click on the "Resources" tab for more info.) We're focusing on 7 cities throughout the state- Raleigh, Cary, Greensboro, Wilmington, Charlotte, Greenville, and Asheville.
We're working with local activists and concerned citizens in each city to educate the public, talk with City Councilors and Mayors, and meet with local legislative delegations. Specific strategies depend on local conditions. In Greensboro, citizens have banded to form Greensboro Citizens for Clean Elections. They're working to raise public awareness of public financing and to urge the City Council to pass a resolution in favor of giving Greensboro the option of implementing a local public financing program.
Excerpts from Greensboro Citizens for Clean Elections press conference
In all of our seven focus cities, we've analyzed campaign finance reports for City Council and Mayoral candidates dating as far back as 1997. We're looking at trends in fundraising totals and competitiveness. In February we'll release a detailed report with our findings. Here are a few stats:
- Looking at Raleigh, Cary, Greenville, Charlotte, and Greensboro City Council: from 2001-2007 nearly 39% of district races in the general elections have been non competitive (only one candidate)- (note: Asheville and Wilmington are not included because all City Councilors run at-large)
- With the exception of Greenville, every city has seen a race with a single candidate raising over $50,000