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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Proposition D
Right of Access to Information
City of San Diego

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

337887 / 82.56% Yes votes ...... 71369 / 17.44% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Dec 15 1:35pm
Information shown below: Fiscal Impact | Impartial Analysis |

Shall the City Charter be amended to provide that the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business?

Fiscal Impact from City Manager:
This ballot measure would amend the City Charter to add a provision similar to California Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (SCA 1), assuring the right of the people to have access to public information pertaining to the conduction of the people's business. The City of San Diego currently provides full access to applicable information to the public. It is anticipated that the passage of this measure would not result in any additional expense to the City of San Diego.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
The City Council has authorized the placement of a proposition on the ballot seeking voter approval to amend the San Diego City Charter by adding new section 216.1, titled "Access to Government Information," and containing language regarding the public's right to access government meetings and documents. Such language acknowledges that the people have a right of access to information concerning the conduct of the public's business, and that meetings of public bodies and writings of public officials shall be open to public scrutiny. The measure also contains the following provisions: (1) that authorities shall be construed broadly if they effectuate the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if they limit access; (2) that any statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of the measure that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the exception and need to protect that interest; and (3) that nothing in its provisions supersedes or modifies any existing rights to privacy, or repeals or nullifies any existing laws that provide exceptions to rights of access.

The provisions of this measure relating to the adoption of statutes or court rules will not be controlling over actions of the state legislature or the courts because the City has no jurisdiction over those entities.

The City of San Diego will continue to be governed by state constitutional provisions and preemptive state laws regarding open meetings (the Brown Act) and access to public documents (the Public Records Act), and future changes to those laws may affect the application of this measure. In addition, a proposed constitutional amendment, entitled "Access to Government Information," and designated as "Proposition 59" will appear on the November 2, 2004, ballot and contains provisions that are virtually identical to this proposed Charter amendment. If adopted, this Charter amendment will be effective for the City irrespective of the vote on Proposition 59.

This ballot measure will take effect if passed by a majority of the City's voters.

  Nonpartisan Information

Author: The First Amendment Project

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:35 PST
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