The Citizens’ Election Fund is building momentum among various constituencies ahead of the anticipated vote. On April 2nd, Environmentalists for Citizens’ Election Fund drew activists from as far as Washington DC to discuss the connection between strengthening democracy and protecting the environment. The next day, Howard County Council introduced the bill, now known as CB30. Later that week on April 7th, Ben Jealous headlined Women for Citizens’ Election Fund, which focused on how the program would increase access to elected office for minorities and underrepresented residents.
Since then, Fair Elections Howard coalition partners have launched canvasses and hosted grassroots action days intended to build on the groundswell of support. The culmination of these events was last Wednesday’s press conference and public hearing. Before the proceedings, Congressman Sarbanes joined co-sponsors Jon Weinstein and Jen Terrasa to deliver a rousing address, touting the program and its potential to make history. The hearing that followed drew 70+ proponents and inspired diverse testimony in favor of the legislation. With the threat of an executive veto looming, the large turnout was a good portend for the necessary 4-1 veto-proof margin.
Looking forward to legislative work session and the tentative vote, we are reminded that there are miles to go before we sleep. Accordingly, Council Chairman Weinstein cautioned, “Don’t get complacent because this issue needs to be fought for here [and now].” To make this dream a reality, we need you to continue advocating for the bill in public and private circles and emailing Council. Additionally, we are still recruiting residents of Councilwoman Sigaty’s District to lead an in-person visit and ensure that we have her vote.
Public Funding Organizer
Maryland LCV Education Fund