A USC professor who is known as an advocate for social justice was unanimously confirmed today to the city of Los Angeles’ Ethics Commission.
Ralph Fertig is an appointee of Controller Wendy Greuel. His term will end on June 30, 2013.
“Democracy only works if we can level the playing field – if we can guarantee equal access and equal rights, which becomes particularly pronounced and essential in the most diverse city on the global, to open up those opportunities and keep them open,” Fertig said during his confirmation hearing.
The newest commissioner is a clinical professor at USC’s School of Social Work. Fertig was previously the executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency, the Metropolitan Washington Planning & Housing Association, and the Washington Welfare Association.
Earlier this year, the Ethics Commission agreed to increase the amount of money individuals can give candidates running for city offices. The maximum donation to city council candidates went from $500 to $700 per election. Contributions to citywide candidates increased from $1,000 to $1,300.
The Ethics Commission is also responsible for enforcing the city’s lobbying laws.
The mayor, city council president, city council president pro tem, city attorney and controller each appoint one member to the Ethics Commission.