Mayor names ethics commissioner

Voting rights advocate Paul H. Turner will be put forth to take Rob Saltzman's seat on the city ethics commission, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced. California Common Cause, where Turner used to be on the board, applauded the appointment. Release follows; Saltzman resigned to take a seat on the police commission.

Villaraigosa disrupted: The mayor's press conference today on Skid Row was met by protests from Catholic Worker activists. LAT


With 15 years experience in community empowerment and election reform, Paul Turner will bring unique voice to City Ethics Commission

LOS ANGELES - Filling a key commission seat with a nationally acclaimed campaign-finance and election-reform advocate, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the appointment of voting rights leader Paul H. Turner to the board of the City Ethics Commission.

"As a lifelong fighter for voting rights, transparent government and campaign finance reform, Paul Turner will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the City Ethics Commission," said Mayor Villaraigosa said.

Turner will be the second African-American Ethics Commissioner in the past 15 years and the fourth in the commission’s 17-year history.

“We commend Mayor Villaraigosa for this critical appointment. Paul Turner will be an invaluable addition to the City Ethics Commission and
will help ensure that the Commission stays true to its mission of transparency and accountability,” said Kathay Feng, the Executive
Director of California Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization promoting open government and civic engagement.

Turner has 15 years of experience as a local, state and national leader in civic engagement, election reform and economic development policy.

As the senior program manager and national director of the Greenlining Institute’s Claiming Our Democracy Program, Turner came to national prominence for advocating open, honest and accountable government through same-day voter registration, full public campaign financing of elections, independent redistricting commissions and instant run-off voting, among other reforms.

Assisting with the passage of the landmark Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold Act), Turner was part of the advocacy
coalition submitting amicus curiae briefs to the US Supreme Court on the bill’s behalf.

At the Greenlining Institute - a Berkeley-based nonprofit with a mission to empower disadvantaged groups - from 2001 to 2006, he advised
community and civil rights groups, corporate leaders and others, while framing campaign finance reform as a civil rights issue.

Currently a community relations and development officer for Citibank, Turner began his career as community economic development coordinator for the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles in 1993.

He then helped establish the West Angeles Community Development Corporation in South LA, a non-profit development group affiliated with the 20,000-member West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Serving as Director of Economic Development from 1994 to 1998, Turner helped make the West Angeles CDC into one of the largest and most effective faith-based community development organizations in America.

Turner has served on:
* California Common Cause Board of Directors;
* California Clean Money Campaign Board of Directors;
* Berkeley Fair Elections Campaign steering committee;
* California Public Utilities Commission’s Diversity Council;
* Southern California Edison’s Consumer Advisory Panel;
* Central City Community Outreach Board (as Chairman);
* West Angeles Community Development Corporation Board of Directors;
* LA Community Redevelopment Agency’s Project Area Committee.

A five-member panel that serves as an independent voice for open and responsive government, the City Ethics Commission shapes, administers and enforces City ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Appointed by the Mayor, City Controller, City Attorney and City Council President and President Pro Tem, ethics commissioners serve five-year terms.

"I applaud the Mayor's appointment of Paul Turner to the City Ethics Commission," said Rebecca Avila, former executive director of City
Ethics Commission, "Paul balances idealism with pragmatism, and his substantive expertise will be immensely valuable to the Commission's

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Politics stories on LA Observed:
David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
Tronc buys (NY) Daily News, La Tuna fire aftermath and more
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Garcetti has weekend date in the Hamptons
Garcetti hitting the road to New Hampshire
LA Confederate monument coming down
LA Observed Notes: Back from vacation and into the fray
Rendon fights for neglected Southeast


LA Observed on Twitter