Citizen advocacy groups are upset that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2017 budget does not include funding for the proposed "Fair Elections" ordinance.
The ordinance, which has been pending in the council since its introduction in January, would create a voluntary small donor matching program in which Chicago public finances would be used in part to pay for elections.
"In 2015, Mayor Emanuel stated that he had '...long supported the public financing of elections...' and promised to support a new small donor match program. On Tuesday, he broke that promise by releasing a budget with no funding for the Chicago Fair Elections Ordinance," reads a statement from Common Cause Illinois and Reclaim Chicago.
"When Mayor Emanuel promised voters that he would support Fair Elections, they took him at his word," said Common Cause Executive Director Brian Gladstein. "Instead of taking this opportunity to stand with the people of Chicago and declare that our city isn't run by special interests, Mayor Emanuel chose to do nothing."
The organizations said they will push the mayor and aldermen to act on the Fair Elections ordinance.
"The Chicago Fair Elections Ordinance would ensure that candidates elected to municipal office put the interests of constituents before big-money donors from far away places," said Reclaim Chicago Executive Director Amanda Weaver. "The Fair Elections Illinois coalition will continue to organize grassroots support to move aldermen and the mayor to stand with the people of Chicago and pass the Chicago Fair Elections Ordinance."
Read Progress Illinois' coverage of the Fair Elections legislation here.