Ensuring that San Diegans have broad and open access to government documents and information is critical to protecting the democratic process. I believe we have an opportunity to make important reforms to the City Charter that help protect the people's right of access to government by placing the attached changes to City Charter sections 215, 216, and 216.1 on the June 2014 ballot for voter consideration. I would request you docket these proposed changes at the Rules and Economic Development Committee for consideration as a ballot measure for the June 2014 election.
The suggested changes in section 215 include clarification regarding what types of information are open to inspection by the public, how and why denial of access to the public can be justified by government and establishing that when the need for secrecy becomes obsolete access can no longer be justified.
The suggested changes in section 216 include making any charge for the direct cost of duplication consistent with state law.
The suggested changes in section 216.1 include language changes to reflect application to the city rather than the state, clarification that access to records includes city employees and contractors, that limiting access to meetings or records must be based on factual evidence showing why the information must be protected, re-affirming or repealing city imposed restrictions on limiting access to documents annually, and clarification regarding that no
Constitutional rights are affected by the proposed amendments, including those rights related to privacy.
I have attached a strike-out/underline version of the proposed changes for your convenience.