- All submitted information must be verified, documented and dated.
- All suggestions or information submissions must be civil and focused on issues, not personalities.
- This site follows the fundamental rules of ethical journalism.
To learn about ethical journalism see Society of Professional Journalists ethical guidelines.
- Local Gifts Fact Sheet
The Local Gifts Fact Sheet is published by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to guide local candidates and officials in local government through often complex conflict-of-interest decisions. Local government, the very starting point of all government, can often only be administered by people who by geographic necessity must wear several different hats within a community and may have multiple alliances with family and professional colleagues. This is common in all local government, especially small towns. But navigating through such alliances carefully in order not to impart unfair advantage at the expense of public participation or funding is still of the highest priority and can be adjudicated in the courts when there are transgressions.
In the end, only the ethical survive.
It is a fundamental truth about human interaction. The following material is from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
Ethical Decision Making
Five Ways to Think Ethically
Am I Responsible?
The Utilitarian Approach
The Rights Approach
The Fairness Approach
The Common Good Approach
The Virtue Approach
Articles, cases, and links on creating a culture of ethics and values in government from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Center offers a national program in local government ethics that brings public officials together with Center staff and scholars to analyze real-world ethical issues in public service and to develop innovative tools and programs to address them.
Online Resources in Government Ethics
What is Government Ethics? (video)
The importance of creating public trust
Introduction to Government Ethics
Basic information for officeholders and citizens
Unavoidable Dilemmas for Public Officials
Challenge for public officials in the areas of fairness, transparency, conflicts of interest, etc.
Government Ethics Articles
Materials on conflict of interest, budgeting, campaigning, etc.
Annotated list of Internet resources
GOVERNMENT Professional Ethics
Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in Government Service
Questions that public officials should ask before making a decision, Joe Simitian and Judy Nadler
Do's and Don't's for City Managers and City Councilmembers
Advice for new city officials from an advisor to the International City/County Management Association, Frank Benest
Personal Lives of Public Officials
Ethical issues at the boundary between a politician's personal and public behavior, Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
An introduction to the ethical issues for public officials., Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Relationships Between Elected Officials and Staff
An introduction to the ethical issues that arise between city or county staff and councilmembers or supervisors., Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Favoritism, Cronyism, and Nepotism
An introduction to the ethical issues presented by favoritism in government., Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
Conflicts of Interest in Government
An introduction to the ethical dilemmas posed by conflicts of interest in the public sphere., Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
An introduction to the ethical considerations in lobbying the government, Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
The Ethics of Sustainability
Reflection on why we should care about the environment, Allie Sibole
Thinking Ethically About the Environment
An introduction to a short course in environmental ethics, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Environmental Ethics and Agriculture
Ethical issues raised by the cultivation of crops, especially regarding water and pesticide use, Javen Kizzart and Sulaiman Shelton
Ethics and the Wild
Reflections on Jack London's "Call of the Wild," and what it has to teach us about the environment, David DeCosse and Emily Hawley
Distinctiveness of environmental ethics
Lesson 2 in the environmental ethics short course shows the connection between environmental ethics and personal or social ethics, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Using ethical principles in moral reasoning about the environment
Lesson 3 in the environmental short course reviews justice and sustainability; sufficiency and compassion; solidarity and participation, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Ethical Dimension of Sustainability
Lesson 4 in the environmental ethics short course offers a definition of sustainability and its relationship to justice, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Lesson 5 in the environmental ethics short course explores the impact of environmental degradation on low income communities and the right to a clean environment, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Environmental Virtue Ethics
Lesson 6 in the environmental ethics short course describes the classic virtues in light on the environmental crisis and describes how to cultivate new environmental virtues, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Precaution and the responsibility principle
Lesson 8 in the environmental ethics short course examines the idea that decision-making in relation to potentially catastrophic environmental risks demands a special precautionary approach, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Lesson 9 in the environmental ethics short course confronts climate disruption, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Eating and agricultural ethics
Lesson 11 in the environmental ethics short course explores food in an ethical context., Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
An environmental ethics decision-making guide
Lesson 12 in the environmental ethics short course introduces an ethical decision making model, Keith Douglass Warner OFM, with David DeCosse
Common Grounds, Common Waters: Toward a Water Ethic
Proceedings from a conference held in March 2008 at Santa Clara University