• > Click to view our 2020 Proposition and Local Ballot Measure Recommendations.
      measure ballot as it appears on panphlet

      Alhambra’s Measure V (Photo – Graphics Dept.)

      Two years ago, Alhmabra residents organized to place a series of good government reforms on the local ballot via the initiative process.

      By Editorial Board

      They gathered over 8,000 resident signatures to have the reforms appear as a charter amendment on the City’s Nov. 3, 2020, election ballot. Yet, even after the initiative qualified for the ballot, proponents had to overcome a series of setbacks and political roadblocks. Alhambrans will finally get to vote on this citizen-led ballot initiative, officially called Measure V, in less than a month.

      Measure V consists of election and campaign finance reforms to improve the democratic process in Alhambra by leveling the playing field so that no one group holds disproportionate sway in Alhambra elections or at City Hall.

      The meat of the initiative consists of 1) campaign donor limits, 2) by-district elections, and 3) bans on direct campaign contributions to City Council campaigns from developers, city contractors, and Political Action Committees (i.e. the big money folks). All of the reforms apply to Alhambra City Council races. Below is a list of the reforms in Measure V along with some context.

      Measure V

      • Institutes a $250 contribution limit (fixed to inflation) on all direct contributions to city council candidates and committees supporting or opposing City Council candidates. (Research shows that dozens of California cities of varying sizes have a campaign donor limit of $250 or less.)
      • Bans direct contributions to city council candidates from developers, city contractors, and PACS. (Cities with similar bans include Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Temple City.)
      • Moves the City to by-district elections, which prevent district vote dilution and helps ensure compliance with the California Voting Rights Act. (According to the National Demographics Corporation, over 155 California cities currently have by-district voting systems and more are in the process of converting to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. Cities with by-district elections include Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monterey Park, L.A., and Arcadia)
      • Increases transparency by requiring City Hall to post all candidate campaign finance reports on the City’s website for easy public access. (Many California cities already do this)
      • Requires increased City Clerk oversight to ensure candidate and committee compliance with Measure V.
      • Institutes a 20-month fundraising window to prevent candidates from fundraising all year round or incumbents from accepting large donations just before an important City Council vote. (Some cities in the area with fundraising windows include Los Angeles and Burbank.)
      • City Council candidates cannot give more than $250 from their campaign accounts to any other candidate running for office. (Helps ensure that donor funds mostly stay with the candidate they were meant for.)
      • Limits loans to a campaign made by a candidate to $10,000 (to prevent wealthy candidates from scaring off less wealthy opponents.)
      • Only contributions received under a donor’s legal name may be accepted. (ensures compliance with the Political Reform Act.)
      • Winning candidates may keep only $6,000 in their campaign accounts until their next fundraising window kicks in, ensuring that all candidates begin their campaigns on a fairly level playing field.
      • Both criminal and civil penalties may be applied if violations are not corrected upon notice from the City Attorney. (Many California cities with campaign finance laws impose both criminal and civil penalties to deter noncompliance. Alhambra will allow for a brief curing period for candidates to remedy inadvertent violations of the law)

      For those who wish to read in greater detail about what these reforms mean and how they compare to reforms in other California cities, the proponents of Measure V have provided a lengthy FAQ section on the Measure V website.

      > Click to view our 2020 Proposition and Local Ballot Measure Recommendations.


      Measure V has broad community support. In addition to the over 8,000 Alhambra residents who signed the petition to get the measure to the ballot, the entire Alhambra City Council now supports Measure V, and all three City Council candidates have either endorsed it or publicly stated that they support it. Measure V also has the endorsement of many local and state organizations including California Common Cause, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-L.A., League of Women Voters – Pasadena Area, California Clean Money Campaign, Alhambra Teachers Association, and Grassroots Alhambra (the local nonprofit who spearheaded the initiative effort). The Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Alhambra Democratic Club have also endorsed Measure V. (A list of endorsements for Measure V can be found on the Measure V website.)

      Both the Alhambra City Council and the local nonprofit Grassroots Alhambra (along with four co-signers: California Common Cause, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-L.A., League of Women Voters-Pasadena Area, and the California Clean Money Campaign) wrote ballot arguments supporting Measure V. These arguments will appear in Alhambra sample ballots, but you can also read them on the Measure V website. No opposition argument was submitted for Measure V.

      More Information

      Alhambra voters and ColoradoBoulevard.net readers can learn more about Measure V at the links below:


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