To the editor:
I would like to commend Councilman Andrew Cohen for his support of campaign finance reform in New York City.
Bill 1130-A, which Councilman Cohen has joined as a co-sponsor, will significantly increase public matching funds for candidates who raise money from small donors.
Under the current system, candidates can only raise up to 55 percent of the spending limit for the office they seek in public funds. This arbitrary ceiling, coupled with a $6-to-$1 match on the first $175 of contributions of all sizes, encourages candidates to rely on larger contributions.
Bill 1130-A would enable candidates to voluntarily raise all their campaign funds from small donations up to $175, which are matched with $6 in public funds for every $1 raised, and will increase by up to 85 percent the share of total funding candidates can receive in public dollars.
This will provide a greater incentive for candidates to raise money from small donors — including everyday New Yorkers — from the districts they serve.
For candidates opting into the city’s public financing system, this bill will provide more options for candidates to fund their campaigns while all existing campaign practices will remain permissible.
This will amplify the voice of the average voter and help counter the influence of large donors.
Represent.Us is the nation’s largest anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to pass laws in cities and states across the country to fix our broken elections, and to help legislators represent us — the constituents — rather than lobbyists and big-money donors.
The New York City chapter of Represent.Us is encouraging all city council members to support 1130-A, and we greatly appreciate Councilman Cohen’s co-sponsorship.