Elected representatives work for the people and the people have a right to know how their elected officials are spending their time and how the people’s money is being spent. For too long, members of the LA City Council have been less than transparent about these matters. Elected officials meet privately with special interests to make back-room deals and they use their discretionary funds for pet projects rather than for the needs of the wider community. Too often, it is difficult for the public to get an accounting of these funds or be notified of what their Councilmember is planning for their community.
Last week, I was contacted by Jim O’Sullivan, President of the Miracle Mile Residential Association. He was asking all candidates for CD4 to take a Transparency Pledge to “throw open the windows in your new office and let in fresh air and sunshine”. As Jim correctly stated in his correspondence, “For far too long the Council Districts have been run as absolute fiefdoms. Much of what goes on in the Council offices remains secret and off limits to the residents and businesses that the Councilmembers are supposed to be serving”.
I am announcing that not only was I the first CD4 candidate to take the Transparency Pledge, I have added some additional promises that will further ensure that the people I serve are fully informed about how their government operates.
If we are going to fix this city, we must make fundamental changes to the way our elected officials conduct the people’s business. That starts here, today.
I will make my Council office the most transparent and accountable in the history of the City of Los Angeles. I call on all candidates for elected office as well as all current elected officials to also take this pledge (a signed pdf version can be accessed at this link).
I, Jay Beeber, candidate for the office of Councilmember for Council District 4, pledge to:
- Promptly disclose whenever my office is officially approached about a development project in CD 4, whether by the developer or any person or group representing the developer. This information will be posted on my Council office website. Neighborhood Councils and other groups (homeowners/residential/business) in the area of the project will be promptly notified to check for information on this website.
- Follow up meetings with me or any of my staff regarding the project will also be posted.
- Post, on my website, my official schedule so constituents can see who I’ve met with and how I am spending my time representing CD4.
- Immediately post any changes contemplated in CD 4 by any City Department that would make changes to the Community Plans, i.e. Bike Plan, Mobility Element, and Recode LA. Too often the majority of stakeholders receive no advanced notice of these changes.
- Faithfully follow the policies for decision makers as outlined in each Community Plan in CD 4, as well as Policy 3.3.2 of the Framework Element.
- Require the City to officially document and demonstrate that the infrastructure in the area of any contemplated project (requiring discretionary approval) will not be threatened in relation to user needs. This would include particularly critical services, such as water and sewerage, as well as public schools, police and fire services, and transportation infrastructure.