Our political system is plagued by the influence of big money donors. Candidates running for office spend an enormous amount of their time talking to and raising funds from wealthy donors and corporate PACs to fund their campaigns. This system leads to government policies favoring the wealthy and serves as a barrier for many candidates. Women, people of color, and those from working-class backgrounds often do not have wealthy networks that allow one to raise sufficient funds and have a competitive campaign.
Thankfully county governments in Maryland can establish an alternative fundraising model called a Fair Election Fund. A Fair Election fund is a public campaign financing fund that matches small-dollar donations to qualifying candidates. In order for candidates to qualify for public matching funds, they have to agree to not accept donations from corporate PACs or donations above $250.
We are currently working to implement this program in Anne Arundel County after having successfully pushed for the creation of programs in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County.
Montgomery County used the program successfully during the 2018 elections, and we saw a majority of the elected county councilors using the fund. You can read more about how the program worked in Montgomery County here: Fair Elections in Montgomery County
We also held a Fair Elections in Anne Arundel County Town Hall featuring State Senator Sarah Elfreth, County Council Member Lisa Rodvien, and Government Relations Director Pete Barron discussing how this program works and how it would benefit Anne Arundel County. You can view a recording of this Town Hall here.
To support our work you can sign our petition listed below! You can also follow us on social media and contact our Lead Organizer, Jesse Noviello, at [email protected] or 443-792-9826 to join our taskforce.
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