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City Council Code of Conduct

A Pep Talk to Oakland City Council, from Akira

Date Posted: August 31st, 2018 @ 3:44 PM
Last Updated: January 28th, 2020 @ 1:54 PM

The City Council Code of Conduct is a resolution passed by the City Council that provides a set of values and rules for Councilmembers to follow in conducting City business and fulfilling their responsibilities as City representatives. The Public Ethics Commission does not have the authority to enforce violations of the City Council Code of Conduct. Instead, City Councilmembers may censure another member of the Council, as described in the Code.

However, the Public Ethics Commission provides information about the Code of Conduct, including the above video that highlights key sections of the City Council Code of Conduct and explains the importance of its purpose to maintain integrity and respectfulness when conducting City business.


Each member of the City Council has a duty to:

1. Respect and adhere to the American ideals of government, the rule of law, the principles of public administration and high ethical conduct in the performance of public duties.

2. Represent and work for the common good of the City and not for any private interest.

3. Refrain from accepting gifts or favors or promises of future benefits which might compromise or tend to impair independence of judgment or action.

4. Provide fair and equal treatment for all persons and matters coming before the Council.

5. Learn and study the background and purposes of important items of business before voting.

6. Faithfully perform all duties of office.

7. Refrain from disclosing any information received confidentially concerning the business of the City, or received during any closed session of the Council held pursuant to state law.

8. Decline any employment incompatible with public duty.

9. Refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character, motives, ethics or morals of other members of the Council, staff or public, or other personal comments not germane to the issues before the Council.

10. Listen courteously and attentively to all public discussions at Council meetings and avoid interrupting other speakers, including other Council members, except as may be permitted by established Rules of Order

11. Faithfully attend all sessions of the Council unless unable to do so because of disability or some other compelling reason.

12. Maintain the highest standard of public conduct by refusing to condone breaches of public trust or improper attempts to influence legislation, and by being willing to censure any member who willfully violates the rules of conduct contained in this Code of Ethics.

More information about the Code of Conduct and Censure Policy can be found on the City Attorney's FAQ page.