First Council Candidate
for Democracy Vouchers
wide-ranging support and
a well-organized campaign,
Pedersen was quickest to
gather signatures and local donations
to qualify for the city's Democracy Voucher program
which voters approved to publicly fund campaigns
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Donna Hartmann-Miller, campaign manager, 206-502-9092
SEATTLE, December 24, 2018 -
Demonstrating his wide-ranging support and well-organized team after campaigning for less than a month, Alex Pedersen became the first candidate running for a
City Council seat ever to qualify for Seattle's Democracy Voucher program approved by voters to support fair elections with public investment.
"I'm proud to be the first candidate to demonstrate such strong and broad support so that we can foster a City Council election that is fair and free of special interests. When I announced my campaign to deliver more accountability to City Council, people throughout Northeast Seattle rallied because they are clamoring for the better representation, transparency, and results which my experience can deliver."
Pedersen's campaign today submitted to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) more than a sufficient number of signatures and donations to qualify for Democracy Vouchers from voters when they become available in mid-February.
Running on a platform of accountability and responsiveness, Pedersen announced his campaign on November 28, 2018 for District 4, which Rob Johnson is leaving next year. District 4 is home to approximately 100,000 residents in 15 neighborhoods
including Bryant, Belvedere Terrace, Cowen Park, Eastlake, Hawthorne Hills, Inverness, Laurelhurst, Magnuson Park, Maple Leaf, Ravenna, Ravenna Springs, Roosevelt, Sand Point, the U District, University Park, View Ridge, Wallingford, Wedgwood and Windermere.
am impressed—but not surprised—that Alex Pedersen was able to qualify for Seattle public campaign funding so quickly
Toby Thaler, one of the champions of the Democracy Voucher initiative (I-122) as well as an activist in North Seattle, the 43rd District Democrats, and environmental organizations. "
lex has been broadly engaging with our communities for years as a member of the 43rd Legislative District Democrats, an aide to Councilmember Tim Burgess, and a newsletter author covering that area of Seattle."
Democracy Vouchers, which are four $25 vouchers totaling $100, will be mailed to voters mid-February to give to qualified candidates of their choice. To demonstrate viability to use public dollars, candidates must gather both signatures and donations. District City Council candidates must gather at least 150 signatures (with at least 75 from within their district) and 150 donations of at least $10 each (with at least 75 from within their district). While such thresholds should be easy over several months, to be the first to obtain them after less than a month of campaigning demonstrates a wide range of support and well organized campaign team.
Specifically, Pedersen's campaign submitted 212 signatures and recorded 164
donations so far (including the required numbers for District 4) -- with more being received as this press release is being written. Overall, Pedersen received over 200 donations so far, which includes the 164 within the City of Seattle (and the 164 includes 95 in District 4). Therefore over 80% of Pedersen's total donations are from Seattle and, of those, over 55% are from District 4.
Candidates who participate in the Democracy Voucher program must limit individual contributions to $250 (instead of $500) and limit total spending to $75,000 in the August primary and $75,000 in the November general election.
Candidates qualifying for vouchers must adhere to both caps unless another candidate exceeds the $75,000 cap in either the primary or general election or if so-called "Independent Expenditures" funded by special interests "break" the cap.
The Democracy Voucher "public financing" election program was approved by voters in November 2015 under the title "
Honest Elections Seattle
" (I-122) and could be used only by
candidates in 2017. This upcoming 2019 election is the first time they are available to the seven district (neighborhood) council races, with Pedersen the first to qualify.
King 5 News reported
that Pedersen, based on the first monthly filing (submitted December 10 covering the month of November 2018) had generated the largest campaign war chest of any candidate in
district thus far. This is on top of today's announcement of being the first candidate to qualify for Democracy Vouchers.
- Link to the City's official website for the Democracy Voucher program:
- Link to the City's "Frequently Asked Questions" page which describes the rules:
- Link to Alex Pedersen's bio: https://electalexpedersen.org/meet-alex/