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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JANUARY 5, 2017

Mayor Steinberg Puts Transparency & Accountability First

Sets tone for culture of openness and civic participation

Sacramento, Calif - Tonight Mayor Steinberg announced a wide-ranging plan to strengthen the city’s transparency and ethics reforms. In addition to fast-tracking the development of a new municipal code of ethics and independent ethics commission, the Mayor’s proposal greatly bolsters the city’s Sunshine Ordinance.

“We have a very aggressive agenda, and everything we want to accomplish flows from having the public’s trust,” Mayor Steinberg said. “Transparency builds confidence both in the process and the result. People can accept a decision that doesn’t go their way if they feel they’ve been heard and they feel the process has been open.”

Mayor Steinberg directed the city’s Law & Legislative committee to develop a robust ethics code describing activities that will not be tolerated in City Hall. Additionally, the Mayor advocated for the creation of an independent ethics commission responsible for conducting investigations of alleged violations of the code and enforcing its provisions.

The Mayor also recommended contracting with the state’s ethics watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), to enforce the city’s local campaign finance law. The FPPC has broad expertise in investigating cases relating to campaign finance and a contract with them would make Sacramento the first city to utilize Commission to enforce municipal ordinances.

Mayor Steinberg also proposed five specific enhancements to the city’s planned Sunshine Ordinance:

  1. A process for Councilmembers & the Mayor to publicly notice intended amendments before Council meetings. 
  2. Proactive reporting of payments made at the behest of public officials that go above and beyond state requirements.
  3. Requiring all ad-hoc meetings and related materials to be open to the public.
  4. Prohibiting city business from being conducted using private emails.
  5. Publicly posting all comment letters relating to council agenda items to the city’s online agenda.

“These recommendations are consistent with the Mayor’s commitment to giving the public greater access and involvement in the future of their city,” said Kelly Rivas, mayoral spokeswoman. “The framework sends a signal to every resident, public official, and city employee of how the Mayor and Council intend to conduct the public’s business.”

The ethics package will be discussed at the January 24th meeting of the Law and Legislative committee. The City Council will vote on the recommendations of the committee on February 28th.

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