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Grading City Hall: Holding Local Officials Accountable

January 20, 2016

Dinar Seminar

Holding local elected officials accountable for their performance in doing the public's work is incredibly important, but also a very challenging task. How does a community come together to ask the important questions about the performance of the officials they elected to improve the quality of life in their community?

In August of last year, just over two years after the election of a new mayor, controller and city attorney, as well as seven new City Council members, the Los Angeles Times issued a report grading the performance of the top elected officials in City Hall.

The goal of the newspaper's report card project was threefold: to engage city residents; to lay out the key issues facing the city of Los Angeles and California; and above all, to hold politicians accountable. The newspaper believes it is in the public's interests to know how are their elected officials doing: "Are they keeping their campaign promises? Have they delivered on their rhetoric? Do they tackle the city's fundamental problems or do they duck controversy in favor of safe or politically popular stances? Are they focused on the monumental problems at and or on their next elections and their own careers?"

To that end, the Times issued report cards to the top policy makers in City Hall (the mayor, controller, city attorney and City Council president) in the form of mid-term letter grades and job performance reviews. How did these local officials fare?

Media Coverage:

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