Oakland Will Send Taxpayer Dollars To Residents So They Can Donate To Politicians

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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Oakland, California, is set to give adult residents vouchers to donate to candidates for local office every other year, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Nearly 74% of the city’s voters approved Measure W, mandating that the city biannually send four $25 dollar vouchers to residents 18 years of age and older for donations to mayoral, City Council or school board candidates, the outlet reported. The program will be paid for with city general funds and include legal permanent residents who lack U.S. citizenship. (RELATED: San Francisco Fires Long-Time Elections Official To Meet Its Racial Equity Goals)

Seattle enacted a similar program in 2017, and University of Washington research showed a rise in candidates for local office and a more challenging path to reelection for incumbents, according to the Chronicle. The Oakland measure restricts former city officials from becoming lobbyists.

Oakland Rising Executive Director Liz Suk, whose organization co-sponsored Measure W, argued the Seattle program had ” increased participation in lesser areas” of the city and “voter turnout from communities of color,” the Chronicle reported. However, opposing Alameda County Taxpayers Association President Marcus Crawley contended the Oakland measure was “biased toward incumbents,” deeming it a waste of money.

Oakland voters also moved in favor of a ballot measure to allow non-citizen public school parents to vote for school board directors.

The Oakland City Council had put the measure on the ballot, according to the Chronicle.

Oakland Rising did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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