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League endorses Seattle's Honest Elections - Init. 122

UPDATE! Over 32,000 signatures were delivered to the City Clerk on June 1 - putting the measure seeking honest, accountable, and transparent elections on the ballot for the November general election.

May 11, 2015 - President Ellen Barton of the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County announced that the organization has endorsed City of Seattle Initiative 122, Honest Elections Seattle.

“Since 1974 it has been The League of Women Voters of the United States’ position that the methods of financing political campaigns should ensure the public’s right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process,” said Barton. The League believes that public financing is the best long term solution to getting big money out of politics. States like Arizona, Connecticut and Maine have had success in public financing with state house and statewide elections. The League continues to look for ways to limit the size and type of contributions from all sources as a means of combating undue influence in the election process. “I-122 will reestablish public financing of campaigns in Seattle and reduce the influence special interests and large, wealthy contributors have in our campaigns for mayor, city attorney and city council. This initiative will help empower everyday people in Seattle politics,” said Barton. “It has long been the goal of the League to ensure that ordinary people have their voices heard in local campaigns.”

This measure will give every Seattle voter $100 in Democracy Vouchers to be “spent” on qualified candidates for mayor, City attorney or City council. The vouchers are redeemable by the candidate for cash which can be spent on campaign expenses. This means candidates for City council, City attorney or mayor can go to everyday people for contributions instead of turning to wealthy donors and/or special interests to finance their campaigns.

The measure also lowers contribution limits for all candidates in City races, bans contributions from large city contractors or persons or entities that spend over $5,000 per year on paid lobbyists.

The measure is estimated to cost City taxpayers $3 million a year, which will be paid for with a property tax increase of approximately 65 cents per month for the owner of a $400,000 home.

League President Barton said, “This is a good deal for city residents. For pennies per day we can help make democracy work for ordinary citizens and combat the influence of big money interests in local politics.”

For more information about the initiative and to see the full text of the measure go to Honest Elections Seattle.

They Represent You

They Represent You: Directory of Elected Officials (TRY) contains contact information for elected officials in Washington state, legislative committees, political parties and more, and is updated each year in January.

View TRY 2015 online. Websites and email addresses are hyperlinked so you can click directly to the person you wish to contact.

Free copies are available at the League office, at local libraries and many county and city offices. Help support this valuable community resource with tax-deductible donation to our Education Fund.

Email to request a copy, including your name, address and phone number. One or two directories may be mailed free of charge. For up to 150, the League requests postage reimbursement, or feel free to stop by our office to pick up your copies (click here for map and directions) . Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

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