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Fertig named to LA City Ethics Commission

Social work professor
USC professor Ralph Fertig (Photo/Brian Goodman)

Ralph Fertig, clinical professor at the USC School of Social Work, has been appointed to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission by City Controller Wendy Greuel.

In his role as one of five commissioners, Fertig, who is known for his social justice advocacy, will help administer and enforce city ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws to ensure that elections and government decision-making are fair, transparent and accountable.

“Democracy only works if we can level the playing field — if we can guarantee equal access and equal rights … to open up those opportunities and keep them open,” Fertig said during his confirmation hearing.

Fertig’s passion for social justice goes back decades. In the 1960s, he was part of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a freedom rider and an activist for a variety of human rights groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Though he now dedicates much of his time to teaching, Fertig previously served as executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency, the Metropolitan Washington Planning & Housing Association and the Washington Welfare Association. He currently serves as president of the Humanitarian Law Project, a nongovernmental organization with consultative status to the United Nations Human Rights Sub-Commission. He is also vice president of the Southern California Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action and sits on the executive boards of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Americans for Peace Now.

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