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Voters Approve Ethics Reform Package With Passage of Proposition D



Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Contact: Michael Canning (415) 252-3100

Proposition D will limit the flow of restricted source gifts to City officials, bring greater consistency to local ethics laws, and expand ethics training requirements for City officials.

On March 5, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a series of changes to the City’s ethics laws with the passage of Proposition D. While the official vote count is not yet finalized, initial reports show Proposition D passing with 88% of voters in support.

Proposition D was placed on the ballot last August by a unanimous vote of the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Proposition D is the culmination of a major policy project the Commission initiated in 2020 in response to investigations of corrupt behavior by numerous City officials and contractors. Proposition D was placed on the ballot to close gaps in the City’s gift rules, strengthen ethics provisions, and expand ethics training requirements for City officials.

“With the approval of Proposition D, San Francisco voters have made it clear that they support strong, commonsense ethics rules for City officials,” said Ethics Commission Chair Theis Finlev. “Proposition D will strengthen and clarify important ethics rules and greatly expand the number of City officials who get trained on these rules. I am grateful to the City officials, community-based organizations, and members of the public who engaged with us on these reforms to advance our shared goal of ensuring that our City government works to promote the public good, not personal interests. I would also like to express my gratitude to our staff and my fellow Commissioners, both past and present, for their tireless efforts to put these reforms before the voters.”

The reforms approved by voters on Tuesday will address several issues the Commission identified when reviewing the City’s conflict of interest rules. This review of the City’s rules was initiated following numerous recent incidents of corruption in the City, in which individuals seeking favorable outcomes from City government provided things of value to City officials in attempts to influence their actions. Proposition D addresses these issues by expanding and clarifying the City’s anti-bribery rule and the rule that prohibits City officials from accepting gifts from certain restricted sources that have business before the official’s City department.

Currently, only City officers are required to complete an annual ethics training, which only makes up roughly 450 people out of a workforce of over 34,000. Proposition D will expand this training requirement to over 4,500 City officials who participate in making government decisions, and who are thus already required to disclose their financial interests to the public. Expanded ethics training will be focused on educating City officials on how to comply with City ethics rules, identify and report unethical behavior they may witness, and cultivate a more ethical culture in and around City government.

Proposition D will also centralize and harmonize essential ethics provisions of City law to foster more consistent application and enforcement of ethics standards across City departments. For example, there are basic provisions of ethics laws that currently reside only in departmental Statements of Incompatible Activities (SIAs). Proposition D will codify these rules on incompatible activities into the City’s core ethics statute.

A more detailed overview of all the changes Proposition D will enact is available on the Ethics Commission’s website:

“Getting Proposition D on the ballot has been a major project for the Commission. I am very happy to see that the voters support the changes recommended by the Commission and have entrusted us with the duty to implement these reforms,” said Ethics Commission Executive Direct, Pat Ford. “We have a lot of work to do as a City government to earn back the public’s trust. The stronger ethics rules that were just approved are an important step in that direction.”

The changes brought by Proposition D will become operative six months and ten days from the date the official vote count is declared by the Board of Supervisors. Between now and then, the Ethics Commission will be developing and hosting a series of trainings for City officials on the upcoming changes before they become operative.

“These additional training opportunities will help us ensure that City officials are familiar with how the rules are changing and what they need to do to comply, prior to the new rules going into effect,” said Director Ford. “The vast majority of City offiicals are dedicated public servants who want to comply with all of the City’s rules. Trainings like these help them feel confident they know how to follow the rules while making it easier to identify, and hopefully root out, any future corrupt activity.”

Information about upcoming trainings and other resources will be made available on the Ethics Commission’s website in the coming months.

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The Ethics Commission, established in November 1993, serves the public, City employees and officials and candidates for public office through education and enforcement of ethics laws, including the assessment of fines through its administrative enforcement authority. Its duties include: filing and auditing of campaign finance disclosure statements, lobbyist and campaign consultant registration and regulation, administration of the public financing program, whistleblower program, conflict of interest reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, advice giving and statistical reporting. We invite you to follow our work at

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