January 2024

Clean Elections San Diego
2024 – Here we come!
Hello everyone and welcome to 2024!  For some people 2023 was a decent year, but for a lot of us it was filled with events better viewed in the rear view mirror.  Here’s hoping the present year brings us all better news and better happenings along with personal health and success.

The San Diego Clean Elections team used 2023 to focus  on a single major project, the rewriting of the Clean Elections Initiative so we can push it across the finish line in November.

Remember  2020?  Even in the midst of a pandemic and the looming economic crises faced by the City of San Diego you wrote and called and Zoomed with such success that we advanced our initiative  through the Rules Committee of the San Diego City Council and fell short by a single vote of the full council from making it onto the ballot that year.  Wow.  Well, here’s why we failed and what we intend to do about it:

Critics said the cost of publicly funded campaigns for city offices was too high and were worried that a provision for the possible (if unlikely) spending up to an even higher cap was unacceptable.

We’ve solved that problem.  By eliminating funding for the city-wide offices of mayor and city attorney while keeping the core concept of funding candidates for council offices we’ve cut the cost by 50% and entirely eliminated the high-cap provision.  If placed on the November ballot and approved by the voters, we’ve also provided for a start date in 2026 by which time almost all the current members of council will be either termed out or gone which takes the pressure of political competition off the table.  And we’ve strengthened  the language of the initiative to make sure Clean Election funds are distributed and used according to the strictest standards, overseen by the San Diego Ethics Commission and appropriate city departments.

What we have is a tightly written and improved initiative.  So what’s next?  We will be submitting the new initiative to the city soon after the March primaries are over.  The process of qualifying has not changed, and this is where you come in. Be prepared to run to your computer and your phone to contact members of city council and tell them you want to see the Clean Elections San Diego initiative on the ballot in November.  In our next update we’ll give you phone numbers and email addresses. You will be a citizen’s lobby for an improved democratic system in San Diego which excites and encourages elective participation.

While we’ll all be following national and state developments over the coming months, remember that all politics is local, and good government begins right here in the  City of San Diego.

Happy New Year!
Posted in General, Newsletter.

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