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Council News Release

10/15/2012  3:11:00 PM

Jesse Gilliam, Council President Clark’s office, 206-684-8802
Newell Aldrich, Councilmember Licata’s office, 206-684-8803
Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Nick Licata

Councilmembers Clark and Licata statement in support of public financing of campaigns in Seattle

Seattle – Seattle City Council President Sally J. Clark and Councilmember Nick Licata issued the following statement in support of public financing of campaigns in Seattle:

"As we tackle the issue of making our local government more responsive to our citizens and making the opportunity to serve in elective office truly accessible, a number of strategies have been proposed and considered. The burden of fundraising should not be the deciding factor for people considering elective office in Seattle. The surest and most direct way to address this hurdle is through public financing of campaigns.

"Seattle had partial public financing of campaigns in effect from 1979-91. A state-level initiative prohibited such public financing in 1992. Sixteen years later the State legislature revisited this issue and passed a 2008 law allowing publicly financed campaigns at the local level if approved by a public vote.

"We were two of the co-sponsors of Council Resolution 31337 which said, ‘The Council will analyze how city election campaigns are currently financed and explore alternatives.' We believe that with the economy improving and the cost of campaign escalating, it is time for the Council to consider putting such a proposal before the voters. A public financing task force met in 2009 and 2010 to vet this idea. Much work has already been done and a proposal could be put before voters as early as 2013."

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