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ALC Endorses Two Bay Area Measures for a Stronger Democracy

October 25, 2022 Perspective

ALC is proud to support two ballot measures on the November 2022 ballot to make elections more inclusive and equitable in San Francisco and Oakland. As a co-sponsor of both measures, we encourage voters to learn about how they would strengthen democracy in the Bay Area.

San Francisco – Yes on Proposition H

Prop H in San Francisco would align future city elections with the federal election schedule, moving them from odd years to even years. Currently, the positions of mayor, district attorney, city attorney, sheriff, and treasurer are all elected in odd years only, when voter turnout averages just 43%. Prop H would shift future city elections to even years, when over 80% of San Francisco’s registered voters typically turn out to vote.

We support this ballot measure because it would significantly increase voter participation in San Francisco’s municipal elections, particularly among young voters, working class voters, and communities of color. Local elections would become more representative of the city as a whole. Consolidating elections into even years only would also save San Francisco an estimated $7 million per year. Although Prop H would postpone the November 2023 city elections by a year, we believe the long-term benefits of greater voter participation outweigh the one-time costs of shifting the election calendar.

This non-partisan measure has been co-sponsored by groups like California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, RepresentUs, and the Sierra Club. For more details, please visit UpTheVoteSF.com or see the San Francisco Voter Information Pamphlet (pages 120-126).

Oakland – Yes on Measure W

Measure W would make Oakland’s election finance system more transparent, democratic, and responsive to everyday Oakland residents. Currently, local elections in Oakland are dominated by large dollar donations and outside political spending from sources that are often opaque. Measure W would require greater transparency in political campaign ads so that voters can clearly see who is funding candidates and ballot measures. It would also limit lobbying by former city officials and lower contribution limits to local campaigns.

ALC Voting Rights Staff and community partners pose in a group photo holding signs that read "Yes on Measure W"

Asian Law Caucus and voting rights partners advocate for Measure W, which would increase transparency on money in Oakland politics.

Perhaps most importantly, Measure W would create a “Democracy Dollars” program to provide each eligible Oakland resident with four $25 Democracy Vouchers to donate to qualifying local political candidates of their choice. This program would make local leaders and candidates more responsive to the needs and concerns of all Oakland residents, instead of just large donors and well-funded corporate lobbying groups.

This measure has been co-sponsored by groups like the ACLU of Northern California, California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters Oakland, Oakland Rising, Bay Rising, and more. For more information, please visit FairElectionsOakland.org.

How to Register and Vote

If you are eligible to vote in California, make a plan to vote on or before November 8. Polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day. Many counties also offer early voting at vote centers starting as early as October 29. Alternatively, you can vote by mail and return your ballot anytime before November 8.

If you are eligible but not yet registered to vote, you can register and cast a ballot in-person on Election Day at a vote center or your assigned polling place. Find more information about how to vote in California this election season, including translated resources in Chinese, Tagalog, Hmong, Lao, Korean, Khmer, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Indonesian, Urdu, Farsi, and Arabic.