The City's contribution limits have recently been adjusted to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The contribution limits for Council District elections in the 2022 election cycle are now:
Candidates who raise or spend $2,000 or more in connection with their candidacy must create a campaign committee by filing a Form 410 Statement of Organization with the California Secretary of State (and a copy with the City Clerk). Candidates who will not spend $2,000 or more on their candidacies should instead refer to this manual for applicable campaign finance rules.
Candidates may not accept contributions in any amount from businesses, non-profit organizations, political committees (other than a political party committee), or other non-individual entities. A contribution from a sole proprietorship is treated as a contribution from the individual doing business as a sole proprietorship.
Candidates and committees that have raised at least $10,000 in contributions must file their campaign statements (e.g., Forms 460, 465, 496, 497) using the City Clerk's electronic filing system. Candidates and committees below the $10,000 threshold have a choice of filing their campaign statements in paper format or electronically.
All candidate committees must have a treasurer. A candidate may serve as his/her own treasurer, or ask a friend or relative to volunteer as the treasurer. Candidates who plan to spend more than $10,000 are strongly encouraged to retain a professional treasurer to ensure compliance with the City's laws. The majority of candidates who spend more than $10,000 will have their campaigns audited, and may be required to pay fines if the audits reveal material violations of campaign laws. Information regarding professional campaign treasurers doing business in California can be obtained from the California Political Treasurers Association.
Candidates should familiarize themselves with the Ethics Commission's Top Ten Rules for City Candidates.
Visit the Ethics Commission's Campaigns page for additional information regarding campaign finance rules.