Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Ethics Laws That Apply to the City’s Redistricting Task Force

San Francisco Charter Section 13.110(d) provides that within 60 days of the publication of federal census data, the City’s Director of Elections will notify the Board of Supervisors whether the existing supervisorial districts continue to meet the requirements of federal and state law and the criteria for drawing districts lines set in the Charter. The Charter further provides that if the Director determines that any of the City’s supervisorial districts fails to meet those requirements, the Board shall, by ordinance, fund and convene the Redistricting Task Force (“Task Force”). The Charter establishes an April 15, 2022 deadline for the completion of the Task Force’s redrawing of supervisorial district lines following the 2020 decennial census. The Task Force is responsible for redrawing supervisorial district lines in accordance with the law and to make appropriate adjustments based on public input provided at community meetings.

On July 21, 2021, in light of the April 15, 2022 deadline for the completion of the redistricting process, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 094-21 (BOS File No. 21606) to convene the Task Force in advance of receiving the redistricting data from the U.S. Census Bureau due to the anticipated need to redistrict at least one of the City’s eleven supervisorial districts following the 2020 census.

Under the Ordinance, the Task Force will consist of nine members, three each appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and the City’s Elections Commission. Those appointments are required to be made by July 31, 2021, and the Task Force shall terminate by operation of law after it has completed its duties in connection with the 2020 decennial census, as set forth in Charter section 13.110(d).

Applicable Ethics Provisions

The members of the Task Force are officers of the City and County of San Francisco, see San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.203. As officers, they must file a Statement of Economic Interests, also known as the Form 700.

Under the Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code, city officers are subject to a range of ethics provisions that are designed to help uphold fair and objective governmental decision making. These provisions include:

Required Public Financial Disclosure Statements

Why.  The Form 700 is a public financial disclosure statement that serves two important purposes. First, the statement acts as a tool for public officials to monitor their financial interests to detect and avoid potential conflicts of interest between their financial interests and their public duties. Second, as public documents, these disclosure filings also allow the public to hold officials accountable and help ensure that officials make decisions without regard to their personal financial interests. In this way, these required economic interest filings help promote accountable government and public trust.

What.  Under Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code section 3.1-395, as amended by Board Ordinance 094-21, Task Force members must publicly disclose the following types of financial interests:

“all investments and business positions in business entities and income from any source which manufactures or sells supplies, materials, equipment or professional services of the type used by the Redistricting Task Force.”

When.  Members of the Task Force must file their Form 700 with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors within 30 days after assuming office. Task Force members must also file Form 700 within 30 days after the members have completed their duties in connection with the 2020 decennial census. The date for assuming office is the date that the member was sworn in and authorized to serve in the position; or begins to perform the duties of the position, as by making, participating in making, or attempting to use an official position to influence a governmental decision; whichever occurs earlier.

Where.  To request or view a copy of a Form 700 filed by a Task Force member, please contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org.

FYI:  Additional general background on financial disclosures by other City officers and designated departmental employees is available on the Commission’s website.

Required Ethics & Sunshine Training

  • City officers of the City & County of San Francisco are required by local law to receive training regarding ethics and open government, or “Sunshine”, laws within 30 days of assuming office.

Limits on Gifts

  • Prohibition on Bribery. No person shall offer or make, and no officer or employee shall accept, any gift with the intent that the City officer or employee will be influenced thereby in the performance of any official act or that could reasonably be considered as a reward for any official action or inaction on the part of the officer.
  • Annual Gift Limit. A Task Force member may not receive more than $520 per calendar year from any source which manufactures or sells supplies, materials, equipment or professional services of the type used by the Task Force. Gifts from those sources are reportable when the value of the gift(s) received from that source reach $50 or more.
  • Gifts from Restricted Sources. No officer of the City and County shall solicit or accept any gift or loan from a person who the officer or employee knows or has reason to know is a restricted source, except loans received from commercial lending institutions in the ordinary course of business. A restricted source means a person doing business with or seeking to do business with the department of the officer; or a person who during the prior 12 months knowingly attempted to influence the officer in any legislative or administrative action.

Political Activity Prohibitions

  • Solicitation of Contributions.  No City officer shall knowingly, directly or indirectly, solicit political contributions from other City officers or employees or from persons on employment lists of the City. The prohibition does not restrict communicating requests for political contributions through the mail or by other means to a significant segment of the public which may include City officers or employees.
  • Political Activities in Uniform. No City officer shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform.
  • Political Activities on City Time or Premises. No City officer may engage in political activity during working hours or on City premises. For the purposes of this Subsection, the term “City premises” shall not include City owned property that is made available to the public and can be used for political purposes.

Other Conflict of Interest Provisions

  • Public officers and employees must not give or receive anything of value in consideration of their appointment.
  • Officers must not participate in decisions related to their own character or conduct, or in decisions involving relatives or any person with whom they have a romantic relationship.
  • No officer of the City and County may make, participate in making, or otherwise seek to influence a decision of the City and County regarding an employment action involving a relative or any person with whom they have a romantic relationship.
  • Prohibition on Contracting with the City and County of San Francisco. During his or her term of office, no officer shall enter, submit a bid for, negotiate for, or otherwise attempt to enter, any contract or subcontract with the City and County, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the San Francisco Housing Authority, the San Francisco Unified School District, or the San Francisco Community College District, where the amount of the contract or the subcontract exceeds $10,000.
  • Prohibition on Compensated Advocacy. No officer of the City and County shall directly or indirectly receive any form of compensation to communicate orally, in writing, or in any other manner on behalf of any other person with any other officer or employee of the City and County with the intent to influence a government decision.

Lobbying Contacts

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