Baldwin Park City Council approves strict campaign finance law
The Baldwin Park City Council this month unanimously approved a strengthened campaign finance ordinance, placing greater limits on financial contributions to candidates for Baldwin Park City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer and Mayor.
The Council’s vote lowers the maximum allowable contribution to $750 per candidate per election cycle, an 84% decrease from the former contribution limit of $4,900 per candidate per election cycle.
In lieu of a local campaign finance ordinance, the State of California, via Assembly Bill 571, applies the state contribution limit to candidates for city and county office. The city’s new rules will take effect April 1 and will apply to the 2022 election and all future elections.
“The city council’s goal in creating a Baldwin Park-specific campaign finance ordinance is to create a level playing field for candidates seeking an elected seat in city government. By lowering barriers to local public service, we expand opportunity for all residents who want to serve their community,” said mayor Emmanuel J. Estrada. “Additionally, this ordinance makes it clear that our community values transparency and accountability. It is my hope that strict campaign finance rules and required disclosure of campaign donations will further enhance the trust Baldwin Park residents have in their local government.”
The ordinance, adopted at the city council’s regular meeting on March 2, restricts campaign contributions from applicants with pending or recently approved entitlements for a project, as well as city contractors with pending, recently approved or active contracts with the City. It also restricts when contributions can be solicited to October the year before an election through February of the year following an election.
Starting on January 1, 2023, the maximum allowable contribution will automatically be adjusted every two years to reflect the California Consumer Price Index. The ordinance will be enforced by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and anyone who knowingly and willingly violates the ordinance will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Baldwin Park joins 179 other California cities who have also adopted stricter campaign finance limits, including neighboring cities in the region, such as Alhambra, El Monte, Long Beach, Los Angeles and many others.