Fair and Competitive Elections for a Representative and Responsive City Council
Everyday People for Positive Change is a citizen ballot initiative committee seeking to improve Columbus City Council. We believe our city council and our elections should be structured in such a way so that council members are accountable to ordinary citizens. We believe in fair and competitive elections for a responsive and representative council.
In 2020, our efforts will focus on one of two ballot initiatives, or (depending on community support) perhaps both:
1) Changing the structure of our at-large council to one where members are elected from one of nine districts, each elected by the residents of that district, effective for 2021 elections.
2) Implementing truly progressive campaign finance laws to make elections more fair and competitive, and to reduce the pernicious influences of big money on our government.
We seek to organize our effort through the winter and gather more than 10,000 valid signatures of Columbus voters by June 30, 2020, to secure a place on the November 2020 ballot.
Reform Columbus City Council
The Columbus Fair Elections Plan petition:
1) Creates 9 council districts, effective in the 2021 elections (see Apportionment Map and Plan).
2) Requires council members to live in one of the nine districts, and be elected by voters who live in their district in the 2021 elections.
3) Reforms the council appointment process, to have neighborhoods nominate replacements for a vacant seat. If council appoints someone other than the local nominee, the council appointee serves as a “placeholder” only, and can not run in the next election.
4) Creates an independent districting commission to draw new district boundaries after every decennial census.
5) Sets 12 years of consecutive service as term limits.
Make Elections More Fair and Competitive
1) Sets hard caps on campaign contributions, by limiting contributions to $500.00 per year to any candidate (Such “caps” are now set over $12,000.)
2) Allows candidates for council to voluntarily agree to limit their campaign expenditures in exchange for a set of publicly-provided benefits designed to provide good information to voters at a low cost and reduce the impact of big money contributors on city policy:
(a) The Columbus Fair Campaigns Fund, a pool of funds where candidates can match small donations of up to $25.00, at a 4:1 rate, where a $25 donation draws $100 from the fund. This feature allows 4 small donors to match the contributing power of 1 maximum contribution donor ($500).
(b) Access to city-owned public television capacity (CTV-3 and Time Warner Communications channel 21) at a very low cost.
(c) Attendance at the televised candidate debates hosted by the Community Relations Commission.
3) Sets up the Columbus Campaign Finance Reform Committee to oversee implementation of these rules.
4) Sets up the Columbus Competitive Elections Commission to review electoral processes and make continuing recommendations to make our elections more fair and competitive.