The “Fair Elections Amendment Act of 2017
What is the Fair Elections Program, and Why is it Important?
The bill establishes a voluntary public financing program for political campaigns for District of Columbia elections. It provides public dollars to candidates who pledge to forgo campaign contributions from corporations, special interests, and traditional political action committees, and instead solicit small-dollar contributions from District residents.
- Wealthy and corporate contributors have an outsized influence in the District’s elections through their ability to contribute large amounts of money to campaigns. However, wealthy and corporate contributors do not represent the District’s diversity — and they also often have different policy agendas than the average voter. Just the perception of such influence can discourage political engagement.
- The Fair Elections Program levels the playing field and amplifies the voices of District residents by increasing the influence of “small-dollar contributors” through public matching funds. Candidates can focus their time on connecting and engaging with their constituents, instead of “dialing for dollars” and attending expensive fundraisers. In order to be successful under the Fair Elections Program, candidates will need to spend more time at community meetings, in living rooms, and knocking on doors – the small-dollar contributor becomes the focus.
- The program also opens the door for non-traditional candidates, such as non-incumbents and diverse and grassroots candidates who do not have personal wealth or access to a network of wealthy contributors.
- But why should we spend taxpayer dollars on elections? The program is an investment in our democracy and in the fiscal accountability of our elected officials to taxpayers rather than to wealthy contributors and corporate interests. Taxpayers already spend millions of dollars each year on the District’s elections, including on election equipment, ballot printing, and poll workers. There are also tight controls in the bill to guard against unchecked public matching and candidates who aren’t viable, such as the threshold requirement for the number and total value of contributions to qualify and the matching funds cap.
The 2017 Brickies were the biggest Brickies yet -- and we wanted to say thank you to all of the Ward 6 residents, Brickie honorees and our many great sponsors for making the evening so special. Enjoy some photos from the event!
WASHINGTON, DC – This evening, Ward 6 DC Councilmember Charles Allen will host the 11th Annual Ward 6 Brickie Awards and community celebration. The awards are an annual celebration of the people, places, and organizations that make the Ward 6 community great. Begun 10 years ago by then-Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells as the Livable Walkable Awards with engraved bricks as a special honor, the event was nicknamed “The Brickies” by the local newspaper Hill Rag.
“This is a big night out for Ward 6 each year – neighbors enjoying food, music, and having some as we hand out bricks to recognize some of the important contributions from neighbors, organizations, and businesses,” said Councilmember Allen. “Every year, I feel lucky to recognize some great folks and this year is no exception.”
The Brickies take place from 6-8pm tonight at the new home of the Capital Yacht Club at The Wharf (800 Wharf Street, SW, Washington, DC, 20024). The event is open and free to all Ward 6 residents. Residents can RSVP at http://www.charlesallenward6.com/2017_brickies
Two Major Development Projects Announced in Ward 6
The projects propose 500+ affordable housing units and dedicated senior housing.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced earlier today the selection of awards to development teams for two long-awaited neighborhood redevelopment projects in Ward 6.
From holiday markets to tree sales benefiting Ward 6 schools or firefighters, Ward 6 has it all. Below is a running list of holiday-themed activities and markets. Are we missing something? Email Erik Salmi (esalmi(at)dccouncil.us) and let us know.
I can't believe the holidays are just around the corner! Of course, this is great news because it means it's time for the 11th annual Ward 6 Brickie Awards! Save the date for Wednesday, December 6, at The Wharf! RSVP here. I hope you can join me on the Southwest Waterfront for a fun night with neighbors overlooking the Washington Channel! I've been working hard for Ward 6 and I'm excited to share a number of updates, so let's jump right in:
Councilmember Allen Statement on Committee on Health Passing His Bill Protecting Women’s Health Benefits in Local Law Permanently
Bill Sent to Full Council as DC Health Link Enrollment Opens
Today the Committee on Health passed by a vote of 4-0 Councilmember Charles Allen’s Defending Access to Women’s Health Care Services Amendment Act of 2017, sending it to the Council for a first vote. This is the permanent version of legislation passed as both an emergency and temporary legislation earlier this spring. Following the vote, Councilmember Allen released the following statement:
Halloween is a fun time of year in Ward 6 no matter your age or costume. With so many organizations and neighborhoods holding events, it's hard to keep track of them all - so we made a list of what's happening and where. The Hill Rag also complied a handy list of ongoing activities and walking tours in the area that you shouldn't miss!
Councilmember Charles Allen Introduces Bill to Create District Waterways Management Office
Also introduces bills addressing DC’s high maternal mortality rate and removing barriers to professional licensing for returning citizens
Today, Councilmember Charles Allen will introduce the District Waterways Management Act of 2017 to help take steps to manage the growth and increased traffic on DC’s waterways.
As the Made In DC Brand takes a major step forward by opening a brick and mortar store, Councilmember Charles Allen, author of the Made In DC Program Establishment Act of 2015, offered his congratulations to the hardworking team of Shop Made In D.C.