Philadelphia city employees may get more freedom for political expression

Ethical rules prohibiting Philadelphia City Employees from expressing their political views may be loosened.  After 25 drafts, a new regulation on political activity has been approved by the city’s Ethics Board.

The 10 page regulation governs political activities by city employees when they aren’t on the job.  Richard Glazer is Chairman of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics.  He says the changes are designed to give city employes back their First Amendment rights.

“People were concerned that during the election they couldn’t able to wear their Obama for President button and they felt that it infringed on their First Amendment rights,” said Glazer.

Shane Creamer  Executive Director of the Ethics Board, says they are clarifying decades-old rules.  “We see the permission of private political expression to mean not that you have to do it private and secret in your own home, but in your capacity as a private individual in your own personal capacity, not as a city officer or employee,” Creamer said.

The rules will have a public hearing at the next meeting of the ethics board.

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