Why is it so difficult to enact positive change?

Why don’t politicians always vote for policies which are obviously beneficial to the health, safety and quality of life of a community? Why is it so challenging to win victories for environmental justice and public health? The answer is clear…if you follow the money.

Beginning in 2024, Clean & Green Pomona is sharing information about campaign contributions in local races. Several organizations share campaign finance information in State and Federal races, but there is a lack of information about who is contributing to those seeking re-election or election for the first time in Pomona at the local level.

Campaign donations are a form of hidden power

Politicians are elected to represent the residents of a community and to be public servants, looking out for the community’s best interest. But politicians may be discouraged from common sense votes, which would benefit the public, because they are influenced by those who contribute to their campaigns or provide some other personal benefit. Businesses, labor unions, business lobbies, and candidate committees which they are connected to, may exert significant pressure upon them. This pressure is a form of power which may be “hidden” to the public as it informally attempts to influence outcomes of public decision-making outside of the public eye.

There is nothing wrong with businesses, labor unions or other groups expressing their rights to participate in the political process, just like residents or community-based organizations. However, too often they reflect self-interest – seeking outcomes that benefit their bottom line or narrowly-defined memberships interests, without subjecting those interests to public debate. Residents of a community weigh several interests in tension when deciding what is best for their community, and expect those who represent them to do the same. Those who live in the community must also live with the consequences of decisions, often for decades.

When pressure comes upon public officials NOT to do what is in the best interest of their community, in order to satisfy a narrow interest of those providing campaign contributions, this may be the seeds of corruption – when an entrusted entity such as an elected official, abuses their position for personal advantage. Corruption is one of the core factors that undermines environmental justice, public health and safety, especially in low-income, marginalized communities.

Why Clean & Green Pomona tracks campaign contributions

Clean & Green Pomona is a strictly non-partisan organization, which does not endorse individual candidates. We publicly advocate for pro-environmental and pro-social policy and action, but transparency is a high value for us in this process. Transparency is part of what it means to be Clean, as Clean & Green Pomona.

Campaign contribution information is publicly available in Pomona. But often, in our busy lives, we don’t examine that information very closely. Clean & Green Pomona has, for many years, looked annually at the campaign contributions coming to public officials in Pomona, so that we can understand hidden power, and who is putting pressure on our public servants.

We want to continue to build our capacity for our work as a grassroots organization, to influence environmental policies, enforce regulations on polluting facilities, plan for our city’s future with vision, and overcome challenges. We will work with anyone who is elected, and we have learned the importance of revealing the hidden power that may be influencing those elected officials.

2024 Political Campaign Contribution Data

Pomona Mayor Primary Election, 2024

Last Updated: 2/29/24

Pomona District 1 City Council Primary Election, 2024

Last Updated: 2/29/24

Pomona District 4 City Council Primary Election, 2024

Last updated: 2/29/24

Pomona District 6 City Council Primary Election, 2024

Last Updated: 2/29/24