Statement on Los Angeles City Council Campaign Finance Vote

LOS ANGELES — Today, the Los Angeles City Council directed the city attorney to draft multiple ordinances that would prohibit certain developers and non-individuals from making campaign contributions to city elections and restrict elected officials from soliciting charitable donations called “behested payments” from restricted sources including lobbyists, contractors and bidders on city work.

A motion, co-introduced by Councilmember David, was approved alongside an Ethics Commission Report and Rules Committee instructions. The package aims to reduce the influence of special interest money in Los Angeles elections and end real and perceived pay-to-play transactions. If approved, the package could effectively overhaul how many candidates raise funds and elevate the voices of everyday citizens in our democracy.

California Common Cause supports the reforms as part of a larger package that includes a robust and accessible public matching fund for city elections. The council earlier this year approved a $6 to $1 public match for candidates, but still needs to act to lower the qualifying threshold to ensure grassroots candidates can use the program.

Statement from Rey Lopez-Calderon, executive director of California Common Cause on today’s vote:

“With Angelenos losing trust in our government, we need to send a strong message that the Los Angeles City Council cannot be bought or sold and that the voices and votes of everyday residents count more than money from special interests. The Council should move swiftly to adopt the proposed reforms to end real and perceived pay-to-play politics at City Hall.”

  • Read our May 21 press release on behested payments here.
  • Ready our April 16 press release on people-funded elections here.