LOS ANGELES—City councilmembers Joe Buscaino, Paul Krekorian, and David Ryu are looking to cut down on city developer’s contributions to city elected officials and candidates with a new motion introduced on Tuesday, January 10.
The proposed reformation would outlaw contributions from developers and would apply to developers currently looking for approval for their projects. The full council would need to approve this motion for it to become a law. If passed, it would call for an increase in the matching fund rates to encourage contributions from smaller donors. It would also increase the size of the enforcement staff at the Ethics Commission to increase inspections and improve transparency.
“The best way to restore trust in government is to avoid even the appearance of a conflict,” Ryu said in the statement. “By introducing sweeping reforms, we will work to restore Angelenos’ faith in the city’s ability to fairly review and approve major development projects. We need a campaign finance system that limits the influence of big-pocketed developers and instead empowers thousands of small donors to have their voices heard.”
The proposed ban from developers comes two months before voters get to vote on Measure S, previously known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which would stop major real estate development seeking zoning changes citywide for two years if passed. Preserve L.A., the organization behind Measure S, said in a statement they were thrilled about the councilmember’s proposal but more needed to be done to stop city developers from influencing councilmembers.
“As elected officials, we depend on the people who elected us to trust that we’ll do the right thing for our communities,” said Krekorian in a statement. “But when it comes to campaign finance, the system we have in place today is failing us all.”
Krekorian added that the councilmember’s reform idea is to create a transparent and fair atmosphere in City Hall.