Friday, August 23, 2019

Transforming Albuquerque NM Elections to Engage Voters

The Albuquerque Democracy Dollars (ABQ) gives everyday Citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a way to Engage in their Community and have more say in City Government.

Albuquerque Residents Submitted to the City Clerk almost 28,000 Petition Signatures. The City Clerk Certified almost 20,000 of those Signatures, enough to Trigger a Vote under City Rules.

The Democracy Dollars Program would Empower Voters to Contribute to Candidates they are Passionate about and would help ensure Candidates are better in touch with Constituents.

With a Renewed Focus on Engaging Voters, Campaigns will Diversify, and Increase, Voter Turnout, which has been Historically Low in Albuquerque in the last 10 years. There is an Opportunity to dramatically Increase Turnout in Albuquerque and Shift the Public narrative surrounding the City Elections.

The Albuquerque Democracy Dollars Program would:

- Create a Voucher System, giving every Albuquerque Resident a Voucher that could be Contributed to the Candidate of their choice, pushing Candidates to Interact with the People they Intend to Serve and be Accessible, and Accountable, to the Community.

- Reform Albuquerque’s Public Financing System to Engage Voters.

- Create Avenues to Success for Candidates who previously felt they could Not afford to Run for Office, including People of Color, Women, Workers, and New Citizens.

CLICK HERE to read the three page (pdf) Letter of Intent to Petition.

Each Coupon is good for a $25 Contribution to a Candidate of the Citizen's Choice. You give the Coupon to the Candidate you Support, or Fill it in and Mail it back to the Clerk. No one else can use your Coupon.

There are No New Taxes involved. The City sets aside about $500,000 a year for Public Financing, but currently, this Money mostly goes Unused because it was set aside for the now Defunct “Matching Funds” part of the Program. Democracy Dollars will be Funded by the $3,000,000 Surplus that has built up in the Open and Ethical Elections Fund and the Annual Allocations already in place.

Registered Voters will get Coupons in the Mail Automatically. Eligible Residents who aren’t Registered get their Coupons by Applying to the City Clerk.

Only the Candidates who have Qualified to use the Public Financing Program can Redeem Democracy Dollars. Candidates must qualify for the Public Financing Program, by Collecting a Set Number of $5 Qualifying Contributions and Signatures.

Democracy Dollars will be Capped at the same Level as the initial amounts Publicly Financed Candidates can receive. A Council Candidate who gets $35,000 to start can only get up $35,000 more in Democracy Dollars, a total of $70,000.

Candidates using Democracy Dollars can only Spend them on Campaign Activities as defined by City Code. They Report every dollar they Raise and spend, so the City Clerk and the Public can see where their Money is going.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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