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City needs public campaign financing

Early this year, The Baltimore Sun reported on big money spending in “Rich and powerful choose sides in Maryland governor’s race” (Jan. 20). Our elections, including the Maryland gubernatorial election, have drifted away from the people. Candidates no longer campaign simply for votes — instead, they compete to raise money which bodes poorly for candidates and the public. How can the average Baltimorean compete with an opponent with access to millions of dollars from corporations and PACs?

They couldn’t. That is, until now.

Question H on the Baltimore ballot this November is going to change how we approach campaign financing in Baltimore. Question H authorizes a small donor public campaign fund for the city. This allows candidates to choose a new option for financing their campaigns: crowdsourcing at the local level. Candidates who choose to participate in the program fundraise for small donations from regular people. They could then have these donations from people like myself matched by the city.

The point of this program is to enable candidates to run for the strength of their ideas, not access to money. We need to bring balance to our democracy to ensure that our politicians fight for everyone, not just their wealthy donors. Protests change public discourse, not policy; if we want to begin to fix America, we need to elect politicians who will create policies that work for everyone and the only way to achieve that is to let the people be heard. This November, please consider voting yes to Question H.

Ty Galović, Baltimore

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