As a City official, decisions you make or actions you take must be unaffected by any political consideration or pressure. To ensure that you are not subject to pressure to campaign for or otherwise support a particular political candidate or party (sometimes known as “macing,”), Section 10-107 of the City Charter limits political activity by non-elected City officials and employees. This prohibition applies to members of some but not all, boards. In an opinion issued in December, 2007, the Ethics Board determined that boards and commissions that exercise the power of the City are subject to Section 10-107. Check here to read that opinion. If your board, commission, or task force was created after December 2007, contact the Ethics Board to see if the Charter’s prohibition on political activity applies to you.
Whether or not your board, commission, or task force is subject to the Charter’s prohibition on political activity, please remember that the City’s resources may be used only for City business and not for political purposes. Therefore:
If you serve on a board or commission to which the prohibition on political activity applies, you also may not:
These restrictions cover most situations; please refer to the Political Activity Guide available on the Board of Ethics website for more information.
The City Charter does not restrict all political activities. You may:
The State’s election code (25 P.S. § 2672) also prohibits you from serving as an election officer (judge of elections or minority or majority inspector). You may, however, work through the Committee of Seventy as a non-partisan volunteer at the polls on election day to answer voters’ questions and resolve problems.
Again, if you have any questions about political activity restrictions, contact the Ethics Board.
IntegrityWorks offers guidance for commonly asked questions described below. These are not the only situations in which ethics rules would apply; they are simply the most common ones. Other guidance may be added to this site as situations warrant.
These are general guidelines. Because each situation presents its own set of facts, this general guidance isn’t advice on which you can legally rely. If you want to be absolutely sure that your conduct complies with applicable ethics laws, you should seek advice before taking action.