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Call for Community Equity v. Strong Mayor

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Activists are asking social justice warriors to call their City Councilmembers before the vote on Tuesday, 8/4 and 1) ask for the Community Equity measure to be separate from Strong Mayor and 2) strengthen the equity proposals so they have more teeth

On Tuesday Mayor Steinberg introduced his Mayoral Accountability & Community Equity Act aka "Strong Mayor." Community activist were appalled that the Mayor tied community equity proposals with the Strong Mayor initiative and argued that the measures should be separate as not to hold community equity hostage or present a zero-sum game.

The counter proposal makes the following demands:

  • Separate the Mayoral Accountability and Community Equity Act into two charter amendments to allow voters the opportunity to consider them independently.

  • In the new Community Equity and Ethical Governance Act, include the provisions listed under Community Equity and Engagement and Ethics and Government Accountability and strengthen the provisions as follows:

    • Recommendations from the ethics commission must include the independent ability to enforce the provisions of the ethics code adopted by the Council

    • The social equity analysis must require collaborative engagement from communities impacted by racial, ethnic and gender inequities, by creating MOUs with community-based organizations, conducting open planning forums, and polling community members. The results from this collaboration must influence any decision made regarding race and gender equity in the City

    • The social equity analysis and small business accountability recommendations should require responsive action from the Council within 30 days

    • Irrespective of the funding source, the advisory and oversight responsibility for the $40 million allocation for inclusive economic development and youth services should be given to the Measure U Community Advisory Committee -- with participation of young people of color and vulnerable youth in the committee’s decision-making on youth investments -- and the recommendations of the committee on how to spend that money should be binding

  • In the new Mayoral Accountability Act, include the provisions listed under Accountable Executive Mayor and Council

The counter proposal also called out problems (read: Concentration of Power) in the Strong Mayor proposal:

  • By giving the Mayor approval and veto power, it significantly limits the power of the Councilmembers by requiring a ⅔ vote of the Council to ensure that any decision is binding in the event of a veto

  • By removing the Mayor as a voting member of the Council:

    • The Council membership is reduced to 8 for two years, but the voting margins remain the same - 5 votes to pass, 6 votes to override a veto

    • This Mayor is no longer subject to the Brown Act.

They recommend instead:

  • Not giving the Mayor approval and veto power, including line-item budget veto

  • Retaining Mayor as a voting member on Council

Issa lot. So bottom line, call your Councilmember BEFORE August 4th and let him/her know that you not with it...


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