Political Activities

The Top 7 Things City Employees Need to Know about Political Activities

 

1.  City employees are free to volunteer for or donate to the campaign of any candidate for elective office.

2.  A City employee can serve as a paid consultant on a political campaign, even a campaign for elective City office, as long as the employee does not communicate with the Campaign Finance Board (or any other City agency) on behalf of the campaign. CFB employees should seek additional guidance from the Board.

3.  City employees may not use any City time or City resources (including a City computer, email account or phone) for any political purpose.

4.  City employees may publicly endorse candidates or parties as long they do not use City resources to make the endorsement and do not reference their City position or otherwise give the impression that they are speaking on behalf of the City. (This rule is different for elected officials.)

5.  City supervisors may not order, ask, or even suggest that their subordinates contribute to a campaign or otherwise participate in any kind of political activity.

6.  City employees who run for elective office may be required to take a leave of absence (Mayoral Directive No. 91-7). For more information, please contact your agency’s Ethics Liaison.

7.  All City employees are prohibited from soliciting political donations from their City subordinates or from City vendors with whom they interact in their City jobs. In addition, deputy mayors, agency heads, and City employees with “substantial policy discretion” cannot ask anyone to contribute to the political campaign of anyone running for City elective office or any current City elected official.

 

Want advice? Click here or call (212) 442-1400 to speak to the Board’s Attorney of the Day. All calls are confidential.