Another Way by Lawrence Lessig | Season 4, Episode 59 | Nov 4, 2022

People are watching Measure W – Fair Elections Oakland Act knowing that it holds the potential to “have major ramifications for Democracy across the country.” Listen to this conversation with Jonathan Mehta Stein of Common Cause CA and Vernetta Woods of Oakland Rising. 

As Mehta Stein shares, “The Democracy Dollar program has seen incredibly powerful, transformative results in the City of Seattle – the only city where it’s been implemented…. Passed in 2015 in Seattles and used in 3 election cycles, They’ve seen:

  • a dramatic increase in the number of small donors, the diversity in donors;
  • increases in the number of candidates, and the diversity of candidates; and
  • increases in first time voter participation because of the Democracy Dollars program.

“These are amazing results, and, yet, since 2015, no other city has implemented a Democracy Dollars program.” Now is our chance to do so in Oakland, a city where “wealth inequality bleeds into our political system.” 

Knowing the gridlock that exists on the Federal level, Mehta Stein points to how “Measure W is a way that local leaders and local organizations – like CA Common Cause and Oakland Rising – can begin to show people that leadership begins at the grassroots level. We are going to build a better democracy in our city and we’re going to build from there.”

Woods explains the high level of trust that the outreach team has, especially as team members are from the communities where the outreach happens. “We’re building people power in the communities…. People are ready for something like this to pass…. They want to be involved….. They want to see change.”

Listen to the full conversation