The vast majority of us knows that money has too much influence in our politics and elections. That’s why California Common Cause has worked to build a democracy where everyone has an equal voice and equal say.

After years of advocacy, in 2019 California Common Cause helped strengthen the public matching funds program in Los Angeles.  In a huge leap forward, the Los Angeles city council voted to move to a Supermatch public financing program.  The most significant improvement to the program is an increased match rate, up from as low as 1:1 to a 6:1 match for participating candidates in both the primary and general elections.

The approved changes also included measures that will allow more candidates to be eligible for matching funds, including:

  • Reducing the number of donations required for eligibility from 200 to 100
  • Lowering the amount of each donation eligible for matching funds from $250 to $114 for Council candidates
  • Requiring participation in a public debate for candidates to receive public matching funds
  • Increasing the amount of funds available to candidates to $151,000 for the primary election and $189,000 for the general election

City Council candidates are also now required to meet a lower aggregate qualifying threshold of $11,400, down from $25,000, in order to become eligible to receive matching funds. This important reform has lowered the barriers that prevent grassroots candidates from running for office and has made the matching funds program more accessible than ever.

The Los Angeles’ public financing program has led to a wider range of candidates from all backgrounds and perspectives receiving matching funds and running campaigns for citywide and council offices.  The changes have also incentivized candidates to communicate to a broader and more diverse set of constituents rather than just the wealthy.  This super match public financing program has paved the path for a city government that better reflects the diversity of Los Angeles and represents the needs of all Angelenos.   By reducing the influence of private money in our elections system, more kinds of people from all walks of life and political perspectives can run for and win office.

For more information on the program, visit