Oakland Fair Elections

Campaign Status: Victory


Oakland voters have spoken: No one should be able to spend unlimited dark money to buy elections and hide it from the voters. By passing Measure W, the Oakland Fair Elections Act, the city is now on a path to taking power away from dark-money groups and giving it back to the voters – where it belongs.

The Policy

Measure W:

  1. Democracy dollars (four $25 vouchers per voter to donate to qualifying local candidates of their choice)
  2. Lower contribution limits ($600 for individuals and $1200 for committees)
  3. Close the revolving door (limits on lobbying by former elected officials for 3 years post-service)
  4. Increase donor transparency (require top 3 donors to be disclosed on political ads)


Historically, Oakland’s elections have been disproportionately supported by large donors. In the last four elections, the candidates who have raised the most money won most of the races. An analysis done by Maplight found that only half of election fundraising came from Oakland residents. Oakland Fair Elections formed to build a local government that prioritizes the needs of all Oakland residents rather than wealthy special interests.

Who’s Involved?

Oakland Fair Elections is a large coalition consisting of grassroots base-building organizations across the Bay Area that is working to enact real change and bring greater transparency and accountability to the City of Oakland. They are joined in this effort by ACLU of Northern California, California Common Cause, League of Women Voters Oakland, Oakland Rising, Bay Rising, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, MapLight, and RepresentUs.

Fund Campaigns
Like This

The Common Wealth is a community of people across the country who have made a commitment to building a democracy that works for everyone. By making a generous gift each month, they directly support the fight to fix our broken political system: city by city, state by state.

100% of donations support the front lines of the movement.

Campaign Milestones

  • Nov 2022

    Oakland passes Measure W to implement Democracy Dollars, lower contribution limits, add limits to lobbying by former elected officials, and increase donor transparency.

    Breaking News! Oakland has passed Measure W. Measure W takes power away from dark-money special interest groups and puts it back into the hands of the voters.

  • Jul 2022

    City Council passes the initiative in early July for voter approval in November.

  • Mar 2022

    The Oakland Fair Elections coalition begins education and local outreach efforts ahead of a planned ballot initiative for “Democracy Dollars,” a program that seeks to boost small donations and incentivize candidates to appeal to wider swaths of city residents, as well as enable less-affluent candidates to run competitively for office against those with wealthy donor networks.