On September 30th, the Montgomery County Council passed groundbreaking fair elections legislation that will help cut ties between political candidates and wealthy special interests and get big money out of campaigns. By unanimous vote, the Council approved Bill 16-14, which will allow candidates for County Council or Executive to raise low-dollar donations to qualify for matching public funds, with smaller donations receiving a higher match. In exchange, candidates agree to turn down all large donations, including those from special interests.
Montgomery County is the most populated jurisdiction in the state, home to one million people. Its total budget is nearly the same size as Los Angeles. Because of the County’s influence in Maryland and proximity to Washington, D.C., the passage of public financing here will reverberate across the state and the country!
Progressive Maryland worked vigorously to pass this measure. Over the past year, we knocked on thousands of doors in Montgomery County to increase support for this law; worked with our partners at Common Cause Maryland to host educational events and create and expand the Fair Elections Maryland coalition; personally lobbied lawmakers; educated media professionals about the bill; and worked with bill sponsors, Council staff, and policy experts from across the country to strengthen the measure and make this a model program for Maryland.
Victory is sweet, and would not have been possible without the committed community members who rallied behind this bill and all nine members of the Council who voted in support of fair elections. Onward!
The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to take action on Bill 16-14, which creates a publicly funded system of elections for County Council and County Executive candidates. Join us on Tuesday, 9/30, at 10:30 am in the 3rd Floor Hearing Room of the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Help us pack the room with supporters of Fair Elections! RSVP to let us know you will be there
Public financing of campaigns through a small-dollar matching program is one of the best tools for improving elections. Progressive Maryland is working hard with Common Cause Maryland and other allies through Fair Elections Maryland to push Montgomery County Council to pass a model bill, one of the strongest laws in the country. Click now to email Montgomery County Council members urging them to pass fair elections.