Residents congregated inside of City Hall. • Photo by Tim Durkan.

Would you like to represent your city council district? Now, there is a new way to help finance your own campaign through the Democracy Voucher program.

In 2017, the City of Seattle launched the Democracy Voucher program as part of a citizen-led initiative that passed in 2015. The goals of the program were to increase the number of contributors to local campaigns and the number of candidates who run for local elections.

Running a competitive campaign can be expensive and access to funding can serve as a barrier for new candidates. Executive director Wayne Barnett says, “one of the goals of the Democracy Voucher program is to increase the number of candidates by creating a new source of funding. Democracy Vouchers give candidates the ability to fund their campaign by collecting vouchers from nearly any Seattle resident.” Now, virtually any resident who wants to contribute to a campaign or run for office has the opportunity.

In 2019, the seven city council districts will be on the ballot. Seattle residents who wish to amplify the voices of their districts may consider qualifying for the Democracy Voucher program to mount their own campaigns.

This is the first time the program is open to council district positions. Candidates who wish to participate in the program may qualify for up to $150,000 in Democracy Voucher funding. Candidates may enter the program as early as July 2, 2018.

Contact the Democracy Voucher program at [email protected] or www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher for more information.

Story sponsored by City of Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission.

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