The City Should Expand Public Financing to Citywide Races
San Francisco’s public financing — considered one of the best in the country — was expanded last week with a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors to dramatically increase the amount of public campaign funding available to all Supervisorial and Mayoral candidates. But it still has a glaring omission: all other citywide candidates.
Our City is failing to even the playing field for candidates for District Attorney, Public Defender, Sheriff, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, School Board, and City College. These are important positions that require citywide campaigns to communicate with voters, and voters deserve to hear from these candidates about our criminal justice system, how our tax dollars are spent, and our education system.
That’s why in May of 2019, Nancy Tung gave testimony at an Ethics Commission hearing to advocate for expanding public financing, urging the Commission to include ALL citywide races, not just the offices that are responsible for voting to approve public financing. Yet the legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors last week still only applies to themselves and the mayor.
Watch the Video:
The City’s public financing program allows candidates for mayor and supervisor to apply for and receive funds from the city to help with campaign costs. This is an essential program for newcomers, independent candidates, and community leaders who are experienced and knowledgeable, but don’t have access to political fundraising networks that entrenched candidates often benefit from.
If San Francisco is serious about eliminating the corrupting influence of money in politics, we must expand the public financing program to include all citywide races, including District Attorney, Public Defender, Sheriff, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, School Board, and City College to truly level the playing field.
Nancy knows that any expansion of the public financing program won’t come in time for her election in November, but she is dedicated to helping other qualified, non-establishment candidates like herself who want to run for office and contribute to our community.
You can help Nancy where public financing has failed. Her opponents are deep in establishment circles raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, but your contribution to her campaign can have a major impact on how many voters she can reach with her message of Community-Centered Justice and fixing what’s not working in our criminal justice system.
*The full video of the Ethics Commission hearing can be found at www.SFgovTV.org