Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich Endorses Berkeley Fair Elections Act, Measure X1

October 5, 2016 – Berkeley, CA – UC Berkeley Professor of Public Policy and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has endorsed a ballot measure in Berkeley that would create a system of public financing of elections for Berkeley Mayor and City Council. In supporting Measure X1, the Berkeley Fair Elections Act, Reich joins a diverse coalition of Berkeley citizens and organizations, including the Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter, California Common Cause, the NAACP Berkeley Branch and many more.

Currently, more than half of campaign funds for Berkeley elections come from less than 1 percent of households, and one third from outside of Berkeley. Measure X1 creates a voluntary system of publicly funded elections to ensure that all candidates with good ideas who speak for their communities can run for office, not just those with access to wealth.

“I am voting Yes on Measure X1 because it is an exemplary public campaign finance measure,” said Reich. “ If more communities, states and even the federal government adopt policies like Measure X1 we can finally make real strides toward getting big money out of our politics.”

Under Measure X1, candidates with broad support who refuse money from special-interest PACs and accept only small contributions – $50 or less – receive a limited amount of matching funds.  Measure X1 uses a small amount of existing city funds and does not raise taxes.

New York City, Los Angeles and Seattle are among the cities that have already passed measures for public funding of elections. Additional public funding of elections measures are on the ballot this year in Washington state, South Dakota and Howard County, Maryland..

Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.  He has written fourteen books and is co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.

Learn more about Measure X1 here:

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