My Ethics Pledge

By working to establish a strong foundation of ethics at City Hall, Mayors Cicilline and Taveras have set a high standard for all who aspire to lead our city. As a candidate, I, Jorge Elorza, want to go on record early as favoring a stringent code of ethics that will build upon the work of those past administrations and continue to raise the bar for fairness and transparency in City Hall.

We are fortunate to have a strong Ethics Code, but we need leaders who are committed to that code and the values that underscore it. My personal commitment to act in accordance with both the spirit and the letter of our Code of Ethics will ensure a fair and responsive government that works for all residents. That is why I pledge that I will continue the established tradition of not accepting campaign contributions from any City employees – and I encourage my fellow candidates to make the same pledge.

In addition, I propose to strengthen our Code of Ethics by prohibiting municipal judges from donating to mayoral and City Council campaigns. The specter of “pay to play” politics is too great and the independence of judges is called into question when politicians are allowed to solicit contributions from judges. My proposal will preserve the independence of judges and ensure greater confidence in the workings of our city government.

My commitment begins on the campaign trail and it will extend into my administration. “Pay to play” politics will have no place in an Elorza City Hall:

– I will end the culture of preferential treatment based on family, political, or business ties;

– I will create a watchdog commission to ensure that no city contracts, tax breaks, promotions or special services are awarded because of campaign contributions, gifts, favors, or bribes to those in office;

– No one is above the law. I will implement our laws and Code of Ethics in ways that make clear to all who enter City Hall that it is a place of honor, openness, and service to the public trust.

I will make sure that employees receive training so that they know how to avoid conflicts of interest and activities that are prohibited under the Code of Ethics. I will warn any who would violate that trust that they will face investigation, prosecution, and possible loss of pension. Our job together is to build a culture that encourages and rewards honorable service, not back-door dealings.

To be clear, when we’re talking about ethics, we’re also talking about economics. Corruption is not only immoral but also inefficient and costly. It raises the cost and difficulty of doing business, and it deters people from investing in our city. Corruption blocks our progress, wastes valuable resources, and will have no place in my administration. The central theme of my campaign is One Providence, where we come together to solve our city’s challenges. But in order to come together, people must believe that City Hall will treat them fairly and that each decision will be decided strictly on merit. This is why, as Mayor, I will demand upon and instill a culture of high ethical standards and transparent decision-making throughout city government.

To show your support by signing on to our ethics pledge, click here.

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