David Alvarez, Donna Frye Work Together to Make City Government Open, Accessible

David Alvarez 2Duo proposing Charter changes for June 2014 Ballot

Councilmember and mayoral candidate David Alvarez today joined former councilmember and President of Californians Aware Donna Frye in proposing amendments to the San Diego City Charter to make it easier for the public to access city records.

“We have an opportunity to make important reforms to our City Charter that will protect the people’s right of access to government information,” said Alvarez, “Our proposal is a step forward in restoring trust by ensuring a more open and accessible government.”

Alvarez and Frye are proposing to place the reforms on the June 2014 ballot for a public vote.  The amendments would help resolve issues of public access by:

  •  Ensuring that communications in all mediums concerning the public’s business, be open to public record requests
  • Requiring a written justification from the city if access to information is denied to the public
  •  Limiting document and record copy fees to the direct cost of duplication
  •  Clarifying that public access applies to records of city employees and city contractors, not just elected officials

Requiring that any city-adopted rule or policy limiting access to meetings or records must be based on factual evidence of need and reviewed annuall

“Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to obtain information without a prolonged battle,” said Frye. “These amendments would clarify that the people have a right of access to information concerning the conduct of the public’s business.”

“The public has a right to know what is happening in their government and a right to participate,” said Alvarez. “Our reforms help ensure that any city policies limiting public access are based on demonstrated need and reviewed annually.”

Alvarez has also proposed, in his Blueprint for San Diego’s Future, placing more focus on openness and efficiency in city government. This includes hiring dedicated staff to oversee all Public Record Act requests, establishing an online source to file, process and track the requests, levying penalties against city agencies that regularly delay requests, and posting the most frequently asked information from PRA requests online.

David Alvarez is the City Councilmember for the Eighth Council District and a candidate for Mayor. He grew up in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego. He began his career as a social services worker and after-school teacher and later represented Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny.  Alvarez was elected to the City Council in 2010. More information on David Alvarez’s candidacy for Mayor of San Diego can be found at www.AlvarezForMayor.com

Donna Frye is the President of Californians Aware, a nonprofit group, whose mission is to support and defend open government, an enquiring press and a citizenry free to exchange facts and opinions on public issues. The group supports local transparency policies but, in conformity with law, takes no positions on candidates for office. More information on Californians Aware can be found at www.calaware.org

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