Democracy North Carolina played a pivotal role in making the Chapel Hill pilot Voter-Owned Elections program a reality.
Like other Voter-Owned Elections programs, the Chapel Hill program offered a limited public grant to candidates who voluntarily accepted strict fundraising and spending limits and who showed they have broad community support by gathering a set number of small donations from registered voters.
Voter-Owned Elections are especially important for local governments for a number of reasons:
About a dozen cities and counties around the nation have adopted public financing programs. In addition to Albuquerque and Portland, they include Tucson, which has the oldest program (begun in 1987) and the highest participation of candidates (over 90%); Austin, TX; Boulder, CO; Dade County, FL; New York City; Long Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco, CA. All of these local governments have reported positive results from their investment in public campaign financing.
In North Carolina, several city governments have asked General Assembly to authorize local public financing statewide. Raleigh, Asheville, Greenville and Wilmington all passed city council resolutions in support of local VOE. Download the Greenville resolution here or take a look at Wilmington’s resolution here.
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