News

Op-Ed in Berkeleyside: A solution to Berkeley’s political price tag problem

November 4, 2016 - Money is a fact of life in political campaigns, but it shouldn’t be the decisive one. Yet here in the alleged home of tolerance and liberalism, money is a way that the entrenched power brokers prevent the rest of us from serving as an elected official. Click here to read the full opinion piece from Jesse Townley, Chair of the Berkeley Rent Board, in Berkeleyside ...
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The Daily Californian: Berkeley Fair Elections Coalition analysis reveals influence of money in Berkeley politics

October 31, 2016 - An analysis reviewing past Berkeley elections conducted by a local nonprofit concluded that money is often a clear advantage in city elections. The Berkeley Fair Elections Coalition, which conducted the analysis, gathered data that were reported by campaigns over the course of several years. In total, the coalition found that contributions from less than one percent of households made up more than 50 percent of total contributions to City Council elections. Click here to read the full story in the Daily Californian ...
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Berkeleyside: Public campaign finance advocates find ‘outsized role’ of money in past Berkeley elections

October 27, 2016 - A new analysis of campaign finances from past Berkeley elections has found that more than half the contributions to sitting council members came from less than 1% of Berkeley households, and that one-third of the contributions came from outside the city. The analysis was undertaken by the Berkeley Fair Elections Coalition, the group behind public financing Measure X1, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot. The measure would require the city to set aside about $500,000 from the General Fund each year (.16%), with a cap on the public financing fund of $2 million. Taxes would not increase. Click here to read the full article in Berkeleyside ...
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The Daily Californian: Yes on X1

October 25, 2016 - Vote yes on X1 to ensure that anybody running for office with a good idea and some popular support has a fair chance in the race. Click here to read the full endorsement in the Daily Californian ...
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The Daily Californian: Measure X1 introduces possibility for Berkeley public campaign financing

October 24, 2016 - The upcoming November ballot will feature a measure that would implement a public financing system for Berkeley city elections and could potentially diversify the pool of candidates in future elections.  Click here to read the full story in the Daily Californian ...
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San Francisco Chronicle recommends: Yes on Measure X1

October 19, 2016 - Berkeley voters have an opportunity to approve a system designed to reduce the influence of big money in politics and increase the pool of potential candidates for office. Measure X1 would set up a system of public funding that would provide a $6 match for every $1 a candidate for mayor or City Council raises in small increments ($50 or less) from Berkeley residents. It’s a worthy experiment in a better democracy. Vote yes on Measure X1.  Click here to read the full endorsement from the San Francisco Chronicle ...
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East Bay Times Commentary: California’s answers to big money elections

October 14, 2016 - In the Bay Area and across California, voters have immediate options this election to send a powerful message about the role of campaign contributions in a functioning democracy. Two ballot measures, one on all California ballots and another in Berkeley, offer promising solutions to our country’s money in politics problems.  Click here to read the full piece in the East Bay Times ...
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East Bay Express: Endorsements for Election Day 2016

October 11, 2016 - Public financing of campaigns is another common-sense good government practice, and we support this measure, which would allocate $2 million over four years to provide candidates for mayor and council with public funds — only if they accept individual donations of $50 or less. Public financing will bring a greater diversity of ideas into the political process, and increases access for those who otherwise might not engage the electoral process. Click here to read the full list of endorsements from the East Bay Express ...
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Daily Californian: Fundraising margins continue to widen between mayoral candidates Laurie Capitelli, Jesse Arreguin

October 11, 2016 - Berkeley mayoral candidate Laurie Capitelli’s cumulative campaign fundraising has now reached about $104,000 in total monetary contributions compared to contributions to fellow candidate Jesse Arreguín of about $70,000, according to campaign finance disclosures.  Click here to read the full story in the Daily Californian ...
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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 ...
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