A coalition of union-backed groups in San Jose are calling for a November ballot measure to “limit campaign contributions by special interests” and shift mayoral elections to presidential election years.
On Wednesday, Silicon Valley Rising — a campaign led in part by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council to ensure all families and not just the wealthy benefit from the economic prosperity of Silicon Valley — and other community organizations filed a proposed measure with the city clerk’s office.
“It’s time to get money out of politics so our government works for us,” Ruth Silver Taube, an attorney with the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition and other worker advocacy groups, said at a press conference outside City Hall.
The proposal would prohibit residents running for City Council or mayor from accepting contributions from some residential and commercial developers, landlords, lobbyists for such people and others. It would also tie mayoral races from gubernatorial to presidential election years starting in 2024 — meaning the mayor elected in 2022 would serve just a two-year term.
Proponents, including Salvador Bustamante of Latinos United for a New America and Richard Konda of the Asian Law Alliance, say the switch will increase voter turnout.
“An identifiable factor in low voter participation for the mayor and council member elections is a widespread perception that one’s vote ‘doesn’t count’ and that the campaign contributions by special interests, not the needs and desires of residents, influences the votes of local lawmakers as they award large contracts, approve unpopular projects, and set housing and development policies,” reads a statement of reasons for the initiative filed with the clerk’s office.
“This initiative is common sense,” said union friendly Councilman Sergio Jimenez.
But business advocacy groups and others say the idea puts restrictions on some special interests, while allowing others — like unions — to flourish.
“It is …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics