Democracy Monitor had this really interesting story by Chad Swiatecki:
Opinions are mixed about the potential impact of a ballot proposal that would provide city dollars to residents to fund local political campaigns, but proponents agree the intention is clear: to bring more people from throughout Austin into the political process.
Proposition H on the May ballot would create a so-called “democracy dollars” program; residents living in districts with a City Council seat would receive four $25 vouchers that they could donate to the candidates they support. The proposal, which is modeled after a successful program in Seattle, has been pushed since 2017 as a way to reduce the impact of wealthy donors around the city who make up the vast majority of campaign contributions.
Those who back the proposal also see the potential to make more candidates viable in a run for Council seats. Among the questions or criticisms of the plan is the possibility that Council could vote to fund the vouchers with a tax increase. There is also some question of whether state lawmakers would object to the program and attempt via legislation to outlaw or limit its impact.
Read the full story here.