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LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 4, 2003 Election
Proposition E
Ethics Reform
City of San Francisco

Charter Amendment

114,010 / 61.94% Yes votes ...... 70,045 / 38.06% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Summary | Yes/No Meaning |

Shall the City consolidate its governmental ethics law in one code, amend some of those ethics laws, and create new ethics laws?

The Way it is Now:

The City Charter and City ordinances contain ethics rules for City officers and employees. For example, City law prohibits City officers and employees from:

  • Making decisions in which they have a financial interest;
  • Accepting gifts or campaign contributions from certain sources;
  • Engaging in outside activities that are incompatible with their work for the City;
  • Contracting with the City;
  • Disclosing confidential City information; and
  • Lobbying other City officers.

Ethics laws in the Charter or in ordinances passed by the voters may be changed only by the voters. The Board of Supervisors may change all other ethics laws.

Individuals who are guilty of official misconduct while in City office are permanently barred from City office or employment. In general, City officers who are convicted of crimes involving violence or fraud must be removed from office.

The Proposal:

Proposition E is a Charter amendment that would modify and clarify the City's ethics laws as follows:

  • Consolidate all of the City's ethics laws into its Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code;
  • Amend some of these ethics laws; and
  • Create new ethics laws.

The Board of Supervisors could amend these ethics laws by a two-thirds vote with the approval of four-fifths of the Ethics Commission. Voter approval no longer would be required.

In addition to the existing ethics laws, the new and amended laws would:

  • Prohibit City officers and employees from making employment decisions regarding family members;
  • Require City officers and employees to disclose their personal, professional and business relationships with people who are affected by decisions they make;
  • Restrict gifts from subordinates and from persons who contact City officers or employees;
  • Change the restrictions on campaign contributions from City contractors;
  • Regulate referrals made by City officers and employees;
  • Require each City department to list outside activities that are incompatible with service or employment in that department; and
  • Regulate the activities of City officers and employees after they leave City service or employment.

Any person removed from federal, state, county or city office because of official misconduct would be barred from City office or employment for five years.

Any City officer or employee would be removed if convicted of a felony crime involving violence or fraud, and if the Ethics Commission determined that the crime warrants removal. Any person removed from federal, state, county or city office because of such a crime would be barred from City office or employment for 10 years.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
you want to make these changes to the City's ethics laws.

A NO vote of this measure means:
you do not want to make these changes.

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Created: December 19, 2003 15:07 PST
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