John Avalos has always supported government transparency. Rampant corruption has been exposed this year as multiple city officials have been charged with federal crimes. Besides being immoral, fraud diverts city funds better spent on public services like education and healthcare. Now more than ever, we need to prevent pay-to-play politics. John will strengthen oversight to expose and break up political structures that allow financial misconduct.
- Strengthening Investigations. There are six investigators on the Whistleblower Program team in the City Controller’s City Services Auditor Division. John supports increasing the resources available to our city auditors, and to the City Attorney’s Public Integrity & Investigations team. John also supports creating investigator-analyst positions at the Human Rights Commission’s new Office of Racial Equity.
- Create an SF Public Advocate. John voted to put the Public Advocate Office on the 2016 ballot, and still supports it, along with Supervisor Mar. This issue has since become more urgent, with federal indictments of city officials and budget shortfalls; a whistleblower-in-chief would save money by investigating and preventing fraud and corruption. If elected, John will fight to let the people vote.
- Refuse campaign donations from law enforcement unions or real estate interests. John will not accept any electoral contributions from the Police Officers Association, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, or Veritas/Greentree or any other for-profit corporate real estate developers, either directly or through independent expenditures.
- Protect the integrity of civil service to root out discrimination in hiring/promotions and disclininary action. As supervisor, John fought against privatizing city work, and fought to raise wages for nonprofit city contractors. Now, John will ask the Controller to audit the civil service system, direct the Budget & Legislative Analyst to explore best practices to prevent discrimination and corruption, and hold hearings on civil service oversight. Based on these audits, best practices, and hearings, John will introduce legislation to root out favoritism and nepotism. If Prop 16 passes repealing the affirmative action ban, John will enact new policies to strengthen the work of rooting out discrimination.
- Break up DPW and create a separate clean-streets department. The Department of Public Works leadership has been accused of financial corruption, and failing to sweep our city streets. John supports Proposition B this November to make a new Department of Sanitation and Streets and a new commission over it and DPW. Vote Yes on B!
- Prohibit city contracts with people accused of bribery. Currently, when a person or company is charged with giving illegal gifts to city officials, they can still bid on city contracts. John supports City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s ordinance to clean up City Hall by prohibiting contracting with anyone who is facing bribery charges.
- Extend public financing to all elected offices. San Francisco has an excellent Public Financing Program for candidates for Mayor and Board of Supervisors. John supports extending this program to all city elected offices including Sheriff and District Attorney.
- Require electronic ethics filings. City officials file Statements of Economic Interest (Form 700) reporting financial interests including gifts, but currently the Ethics Commission only accepts paper filings from some employees. John supports changing city rules so that these forms are all electronic and all searchable, so it will be easier for the Ethics Commission and the public to audit compliance.
Expand gift ban to contractors’ owners and employees. City law generally prohibits gifts from lobbyists and contractors to city employees. John supports expanding this gift ban to additionally prohibit gifts to city employees from the owners, and employees, of companies that contract with city departments.