San Luis Obispo is First In America to Reform Election Funding

By all measures, San Luis Obispo County is a small community. We have just over 250,000 residents and our County Seat of San Luis Obispo has just short of 50,000. It is not exactly what you would call metropolitan. Situated along the Pacific Coast half way between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it is sort of a quaint jewel of California that few have discovered. Regardless, we are a COMMUNITY THAT CAN, like the little train that labors up the hill. Our County leaders just passed a policy that each citizen will get a $20 voucher to give to local politicians running for office if those local politicians refuse to take outside money!

Money buys politicians, and causes corruption in our democracy. San Luis Obispo seeks to eliminate electioneering by putting the people in the drivers seat for campaign finance. It should also go a long way toward encouraging citizens to engage in the process and vote! The $20 is called a “democracy voucher.” The Council was split 3-2 on the decision. Guess where the financing came from for the two who were in the minority. Yup, you guessed it. Not a surprise, eh?

If you have been reading this blog for a few years, you know that this is not the first time that San Luis Obispo has been a leader in pioneering legislation. In 2010, the County was the first in the nation to ban smoking in all outdoor areas frequented by the public, including sidewalks, parking garages, 20 feet from any building entrance, outdoor stadiums, and even the beach. In 2012, the County also banned the use of Styrofoam containers for restaurant and plastic bags in stores. See this post

I am super proud of our little community and its elected officials who do the right thing.


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