What if people like us could get elected? Ordinary New Yorkers should have a chance to run and win, not just those connected to the wealthy donor class. Reforms that provide small dollar, public matching funds to amplify the role of ordinary Americans in financing elections have removed barriers, allowing candidates from different backgrounds to serve in elected office.
Citizen-funded election systems mean:
- More ordinary people are able to run for public office;
- Candidates spend more time listening to and meeting with their constituents, instead of constantly focusing on raising big money from just a handful of donors;
- Elected officeholders are reflective of the community at large and share similar values and experiences with everyday voters;
- Elected officials are less indebted to a narrow set of big money funders, and are more accountable to all voters;
In 2018, NYC voters approved a ballot initiative to improve our small-dollar matching funds program. The matching funds program was strengthened by increasing the small donor match to an 8:1 rate, increased the match by contributor and by office, while lowering the overall contribution limits for each office.
New York City’s campaign finance system is highly-regarded because the small-dollar public matching funds program helps candidates rely on New York City residents and not special interests to fund their campaigns. Still, Common Cause New York is working to strengthen and improve the city’s campaign finance system.