making local government more ethical

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by reading our introduction to local government ethics or using the City Ethics Model Code. Also check out our top ten lists of books, or movies.

Open Source Tools



A review of the various products of Carla's network fellowship at the Safra Center for Ethics @ Harvard University.

Review our Publications

We now have several publications available in various digital formats, including all major e-Reader formats! Please go HERE to view.

Session Materials

Session Notes for recent presentations by Carla Miller. e.g. #UNRIG 2018

Robert Wechsler

Long ago, experts in philosophy, physics, and psychology recognized that reality and perception are not as different as people used to think. And yet people continue to think it. One area where they continue to think it is government ethics.

According to an article in the Stamford (CT) Advocate last week, during an ethics training class for...

Robert Wechsler

In an article on the deportation of Haitians from the Dominican Republic in yesterday's New York Times, a police officer agonizes over the prospect of having to deport his best friend, a Haitian immigrant. “I have no choice,” he is quoted as saying. “It saddens me to think about being ordered to detain someone I really care about. It will be hard not to...

Robert Wechsler

Last month, Jonathan Rauch published a sincere and well-written defense of political machines, entitled "Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy" (Brooking Institution Press; available free as a PDF or e-book). Although the essay scarcely mentions conflicts of interest, gifts, nepotism, and the like, and it makes no mention at all of conflicts of...

Robert Wechsler

I was fortunate today to see an American film focused almost entirely on local government ethics. Although it is an excellent film, it has not been included in City Ethics' (but not my) Top Ten Ethics Films list or in any of the comments suggesting additions. The film is City of Hope (1991), written and directed by the great John Sayles,...

Robert Wechsler

Lee Drutman’s The Business of America is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate (2015) is an excellent book about corporate lobbying at the federal level. Drutman is especially good on the reasons for the growth of this lobbying, particularly the reasons why this lobbying is “sticky.” Since corporations and their associations...

Robert Wechsler
Last week, Edward B. Foley, who directs Election Law @ Moritz, Ohio State's law school, put online the draft of a paper entitled "Voters as Fiduciaries." The paper makes the argument that voters should not be voting their personal interests, but should instead be expressing their best judgment of what is in the public interest, including the interest of future generations.

An important...

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