L.A. City Council Passes Public Campaign Finance Reform

Media Contact:

September 12, 2012

Anjuli Kronheim 213-252-4552

L.A. City Council Passes Public Campaign Finance Reform

Today, Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve reforms to the public campaign finance system-the largest changes since the program was created in 1990. The revised legislation will provide stronger public support for candidates while incentivizing local fundraising.

Starting in 2013, participating candidates would receive matching funds according to a four-to-one rather than a one-to-one ratio in the general election, with a two-to-one match in the primary. Starting in 2015, candidates would only have donations from Los Angeles City residents matched. Candidates for City Council would also need to raise 200 donations of $5 or more from within their districts in order to qualify for the program.

The City Council also voted to study the impact of this 2013 matching funds increase in order to potentially increase the two-to one match rate for the primary to a four-to-one moving forward for future elections.

“What these reforms say is that our LA taxpayers deserve to be the focus of our city officials’ attention – not the residents of Beverly Hills or outside special interests,” said Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “The new changes supported by LA City Council will incentivize more candidates to fundraise and communicate more with their LA constituents.”

Earlier this year, a Brennan Center for Justice Report found that similar policies in New York City led to greater donor diversity, bringing the demographics of political contributors into better alignment with those of the city as a whole.

“We all know how much time elected officials and other candidates spend fundraising,” [Feng] said. “These improvements will alleviate some of that and allow that time to be spent in more of L.A.’s communities.”

California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.