Common Cause Georgia Proposes Anti-Pay-to-Play Ordinance for Atlanta

Common Cause Georgia is urging Atlanta candidates and incoming city councilors to end the appearance of pay-to-play in municipal contracting.

The nonpartisan organization has drafted a proposed ordinance that would prohibit campaign donor relationships between municipal vendors and the elected officials who make contracting decisions. Companies that have made campaign contributions to relevant municipal officials would no longer be eligible to hold or bid on city contracts.

Common Cause Georgia sent letters to candidates in the November 30 runoff elections urging them to endorse the ordinance and work to implement it, if elected. Similar letters were sent to candidates elected on November 2, and to those who were not opposed in the election.

“Voters should be able to trust that elected officials are acting in their constituents’ interests and are not being influenced by campaign contributions, gifts or other payments,” Common Cause Georgia Executive Director Aunna Dennis said in the letter. “In the interest of good government, the Mayor and Councilmembers should establish a policy or ordinance that will avoid the appearance of improper influence in local elections to the extent that it is not inconsistent with state or federal law.”

“Political contributions have a profound impact on decision-making at all levels of government – and voters know this. Restricting contributions and other gifts from professional entities that do business with the City would avoid conflicts of interest and other distractions. Voters will be able to have more trust in a fair, honest, and transparent procurement process,” Dennis said.

Read the full letter, with the proposed ordinance, here.

The letter was sent to: Mayoral candidates Andre Dickens and Felecia Moore; Council President candidates Doug Shipman and Natalyn Mosby Achibong; Council candidates Jacqueline Labat, Keisha Sean Waites, Jason Winston, Nathan Clubb, Byron Amos, Erika Estrada, Cleta Winslow, Jason Dozier, Liliana Bakhtiari, Amanda Mahoney, Joyce Sheperd and Antonio Lewis; and Councilors-elect Michael Julian Bond, Matt Westmoreland, Amir Farokhi, Alex Wan, Howard Shook, Mary Norwood, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone and Marci Collier Overstreet.