WASHINGTON—Today the D.C. Council unanimously voted to pass the Fair Elections Act of 2017 on the first of two votes.

The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia applauds the Council for passing this legislation, which creates a public financing option for candidates who choose not to accept large donations to receive limited public matching funds at a rate of five to one for small donations that they collect from D.C. residents. The matching would apply for candidates running for the offices of Mayor, Attorney General, D.C. Council, and Board of Education.

The following statement can be attributed to Nassim Moshiree, Policy Director, ACLU-DC:

“We’re thrilled the Council passed this bill unanimously on first vote. The ACLU-DC has long supported a voluntary and fair system of public financing of elections. For too long, access to money, not public support or policy positions, has often determined who can run for office and who is elected. A voluntary system of public financing will reduce the dependency of candidates on private funding for campaigns and help ensure a diversity of voices in D.C. elections. Through the Council’s vote, D.C. residents have spoken, and we urge Mayor Muriel Bowser to sign and fully fund this bill once it leaves the Council."

"We’re proud to be a part of the DC Fair Elections Coalition and congratulate everyone who led this enormous two-year effort."