What's New

The Public Ethics Commission provides educational resources about local ethics, campaign finance, and transparency rules and requirements. In an effort to keep you informed regarding new and updated laws, manuals, forms, and other Commission publications and services, this page will be updated as changes occur.

Recent Changes to the Law

With the passage of Measure W in November 2022, the Oakland Fair Elections Act (OFEA) took effect creating a new public campaign financing program (Democracy Dollars). In addition, Measure W includes important amendments to Oakand's campaign finance, transparency, and lobbying rules.

New Contribution Limits

Effective January 1, 2023

Contribution limits for candidates are as follows:

Source Maximum Contribution

Individual, Business, or Other Organization


Broad-Based Political Committee*


*Not all political action committees qualify as broad-based committees. To qualify as a broad-based political committee the committee must meet all the following conditions:

1. In existence for more than six months,
2. Receive contributions from 100 or more persons, and
3. Make contributions to five or more candidates.

Political Communications Disclaimers

Measure W includes new disclaimer requirements that must be incorporated in all campaign, officeholder, or legal defense communications. The disclaimer must include “Paid for by” immediately followed by the name, address, and city of that candidate or committee, and the committee identification number provided by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, if applicable. The address and city are not required in an audio communication.

It must also state that “Funding details are available on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission’s website.” All disclaimers must be presented in a clear and conspicuous manner to give the reader, observer, or listener adequate notice. See Oakland Campaign Reform Act Section 3.12.200 for specific disclaimer details.

Social Media Account Disclaimers

Any candidate or committee that uses social media accounts to disseminate political communications must include the following statement on each account’s home page:

This account is being used for campaign purposes by [name of candidate or committee].

If an elected City officeholder communicates about campaign activity or City business using a social media account or website that is not City sponsored, the home page for the account or site must include the following statement:

This [account or site] is not paid for, sponsored by, or hosted by the City of Oakland.

Please refer to Oakland Campaign Reform Act Section 3.12.220 for full information about social media requirements.

Voluntary Spending Limits

Eligibility Rule for New Democracy Dollars Public Financing Program

In order to participate in the new Democracy Dollars public financing program, candidates for elections in 2024 and thereafter must abide by new campaign spending limits as follows:

Office Voluntary Spending Limit



City Attorney


City Auditor


City Council Member At-Large


District City Council Member


School Board Director


Restrictions on Use of Personal Funds

Eligibility Rule for New Democracy Dollars Public Financing Program

To participate in the new Democracy Dollars public financing program, candidates for elections in 2024 and thereafter cannot use personal funds for campaign expenditures exceeding 8 percent of the expenditure limit for their office or $20,000, whichever is lower.

Restrictions on Contributions from Candidates to Other Committees

Eligibility Rule for New Democracy Dollars Public Financing Program

In addition, to be eligible to participate in the Democracy Dollars Program candidates for elections in 2024 and thereafter cannot knowingly solicit contributions for a committee or any other person or entity that has made or will make independent expenditures to support or oppose a candidate for City office.

Lobbying by Former Public Officials

Measure W also increased post-employment restrictions on former City officials. An officer of the City or person who has held the postion of department head or budget director cannot act as a government lobbyist for a period of two years after leaving office.

Learn More


The Public Ethics Commission is an independent commission made up of Oakland residents and charged with ensuring fairness, openness, honesty and integrity in Oakland City government.

Our objective is to make sure Oakland public officials and government decision-making processes operate in a fair and unbiased manner, to promote transparency in Oakland government, and to promote public trust in our local political system.

The Commission's duties include ensuring compliance with the City of Oakland's government ethics, campaign finance, transparency, and lobbyist registration laws

Learn More

Contact Us

Phone Numbers

Email Address

Social Media