A Small Donor Matching System for Chicago Elections

The Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ)  is fighting for ALL Chicagoans of different social classes to have equitable resources to run for public office. No matter if you're rich or poor, from the Southside or Northside if you want to run for office, a lack of funding should not hinder you from doing so!

Our current campaign finance system unfairly favors a small handful of donors able to give large contributions. A municipal small donor public financing could fix this problem in Chicago.


Under a citywide small donor matching system, the Chicago City Council would contribute to six dollars in public matching funds for each dollar an individual candidate raised independently. A small donor public finance program would incentivize candidates to seek out many supporters, not just a few big donors. It would also enable more candidates from diverse backgrounds to run for office and amplify the voices of regular people.


,WCRJ is currently circulating petitions to gather the 85,000 signatures needed to place a question on the 2022 ballot, which would let voters approve a referendum to establish a Small Donor Matching Program for candidates running for Chicago Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer, and Alderman.

How  You Can Support the Fight

In order to collect the 85,000 signatures required to place the Small Donor Matching referendum on the 2022 ballot in Chicago, we need the support of engaged community members like you. You can join WCRJ's campaign by gathering petition signatures from family, friends, and neighbors.

Instructions for collecting signatures are outlined below. Please follow the directions carefully in order to make sure the signatures you gather are validated by the Board of Elections.

Download and print the petition forms

Printable petition forms can be found here. If you do not have access to a printer, you can arrange to collect blank copies of the peition form at a time and place that works for you.

Sign the petition following Board of Election rules

1. Enter your signature in the first column. 2. In the second column, print your full legal name, including any middle names. For example, if your legal name is "Steven Martin Murray," writing "Steve Murray" won't count! 3. In the third column, enter the complete address where you are registered to vote, including the street number, street name, unit number, city, state, and zip code.

Collect additional signatures

Collect signatures from anyone else you have safe contact with, such as family or roommates, and coworkers or neighbors you are able to make arrangements with. Signers must be registered to vote at a Chicago home address. Up to ten people can sign each form, and there is no limit to the number of signatures you can collect. In order to make sure signatures are valid, follow the Board of Elections rules outlined in the previous section. Leave the Circulator's Affidavit section blank.

Return the petition forms to WCRJ

You can mail your completed forms to our office at: Workers Center For Racial Justice/DeAngelo Bester
2243-2245 East 71st Street, Chicago, IL, 60649 If you are not able to mail your forms, you can make arrangement with us for a socially distanced pick up or drop off.

After you have carefully reviewed the signature gathering instructions, download the petition form to get started.

Please contact us with any questions or for additional information about the petition gathering process.

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