Funds from DC residents, public financing fuel early momentum
Manor Park, DC — In her campaign’s first fundraising report, filed on September 3, Janeese Lewis George reported $17,994 in donations from 396 individual donors since the campaign’s launch on August 1. Of those donors, 323 are District of Columbia residents whose donations are expected to be matched 5-to-1 as part of DC’s Fair Elections Program. Factoring in those anticipated matching funds as well as the base payment to all qualifying candidates participating in the program, Lewis George’s campaign raised a total of $104,982 in its first month. Donations from DC residents and the Fair Elections Programs funds combined account for 97.5% of this total.
“There is a lot of excitement for new leadership in Ward 4,” said Lewis George. “We met the qualifying donor minimum in less than three days. We packed the room at our launch event and had overflow crowd spilling onto Carroll Ave. And our support is from people who live here in the District.
“I’m raising money differently because Ward 4’s working families and marginalized communities must be at the center of the city’s policy agenda and financial priorities. And this starts with the way we campaign.”
The average donation in the campaign’s first month was $41.34. The maximum amount anyone can donate to Lewis George’s campaign is $50, and corporate donations are not accepted. DC’s Fair Elections Program requires candidates to obtain 150 donations from DC voters, totaling at least $5,000, to qualify for public financing. Lewis George achieved this milestone in under three days — the fastest thus far of any candidate participating in the new program.
“This first-month grassroots fundraising puts us ahead of our internal campaign benchmarks,” said Zach Teutsch, Lewis George’s campaign chair. “This is a people-driven campaign and hundreds joined in our first month. The grassroots donor model means we’ll need to build a movement. That’s exactly what politics should be and is exactly what we are doing.”
“We are proud to be helping DC pioneer the new Fair Elections Program and to help the city as a whole see a new model for how campaigns are run,” said Latifa Lyles, Lewis George’s campaign treasurer.
More information about Janeese Lewis George and her vision for a more affordable, equitable, and accountable Ward 4 is available at https://www.janeese4dc.com/.
Background on the Fair Elections Program
The Fair Elections Amendment Act of 2018 provides public funding for the financing of campaign operations in the District of Columbia through the combination of matching funds and lump-sum base amounts.
Administered by the District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance, the Fair Elections Program is voluntary. Participating candidates must commit to:
- Lower contribution limits for individuals ($50) than those that apply to non-participating candidates ($500);
- A total ban on corporate and traditional PAC contributions;
- Restrictions on the amounts candidates and members of their immediate families may contribute to their campaigns; and
- Participate in candidate debates.
 DC’s Fair Election Program provides a base grant upon qualifying and matches each DC donor’s donation 5:1 up to a cap. Matching dollars are certified after the submission of the report. Today we filed the report and expect official certification and disbursal of the match dollars later in September.