Policy Issues

The Ethics Commission seeks to ensure that San Francisco’s ethics laws are strong, enforceable, and workable in practice. We study emerging trends in campaign finance, conflicts of interest, lobbying and other areas that impact the accountability and transparency of City government. We use what we learn to improve the City’s ethics laws and to refine our department’s programs. This work is vital to guaranteeing robust and informed laws in an ever-changing City.

The Commission’s policy work produces research, legislative recommendations, regulations, program concepts, and public-facing communications that seek to inform and strengthen the City’s pursuit of clean government. Based on this work, the five-member Commission regularly approves new ordinances and regulations. The Commission also has authority under the Charter to submit ballot measures directly to San Francisco voters.

The Policy Division leads the Commission’s policy projects and is responsible for the research, analysis, and community engagement that makes up the core of the Commission’s policy work.

Policy Projects

The Ethics Commission’s policy discussions can be followed each month by accessing the Commission’s monthly meeting agenda. Legislative and regulatory matters slated for discussion and action by the Commission are identified on the agenda, along with in-depth Staff reports that provide background, analysis, and policy recommendations.

To identify and prioritize the policy matters it plans to address, the Ethics Commission adopts a Policy Prioritization Plan. The Plan is designed to enable the Commission to carry out its policy agenda and provide focused attention on key programs and policies. Information about current and past policy projects is available above.

You can receive regular updates about all issues considered by the Ethics Commission by visiting our Interested Persons page and subscribing to the Commission’s meeting notices and agendas. By signing up to receive notices, you will be notified whenever the Policy Division holds an interested persons meeting to solicit ideas and feedback during the policy projects described above.

Please contact Policy Analyst Michael Canning at Michael.A.Canning@sfgov.org for more information about policy projects.

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