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POLICY 

The Los Angeles City Charter requires the Ethics Commission to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the City's laws regarding governmental ethics, campaign financing, and lobbying and to make recommendations about the laws to the Mayor and the City Council.

Recent policy issues are noted below. You can also access legislative updates through the Commission's agendas, for more information about issues that are being considered or recommended by the Commission.

Municipal Lobbying Ordinance Review

Thank you very much to those who have already provided feedback regarding the City’s lobbying laws! We continue to solicit input and wanted to let you know some of the specific proposals that are currently being considered. These are based on input we have received to date, our experiences in administering the laws, and best practices in other jurisdictions. However, this list is not comprehensive or final, and what is discussed at the next Ethics Commission meeting may be different.

Definitions

  • Defining “lobbyist” as an individual who becomes entitled to receive $5,000 or more in a calendar year and has at least one direct communication with a City employee for the purpose of attempting to influence a City matter on behalf of another person.
  • Including issue advocates (currently known as major filers) in the definition of “lobbying entity”.
  • Including neighborhood councils in the definition of “City agency”.

Registration

  • Assessing registration fees for all lobbying entities.
  • Requiring lobbyists to disclose prior City service, if any.

Disclosure

  • Increasing the filing frequency of disclosure reports, which are now filed quarterly.
  • Requiring the same filing schedule and similar disclosure requirements for all lobbying entities.
  • Adding disclosure of the position title, division, and agency of each City employee contacted during the reporting period.
  • Adding disclosure of the position a lobbying entity took on each City matter it lobbied.
  • Removing one-day disclosure for political contributions and fundraising activity.
  • Removing disclosure of written communications to neighborhood councils.
  • Lowering the disclosure threshold for fundraising solicitations, so that they must be disclosed when 25 (rather than 50) are distributed.

Miscellaneous

  • Prohibiting gifts to City employees from all lobbying entities and clients.
  • Modifying the enforcement provisions to mirror those in the campaign finance and governmental ethics laws.
We plan to continue the lobbying discussion at the Ethics Commission meeting on August 15, 2017.  We also plan to distribute a draft of the lobbying laws before the meeting, so comments received as soon as possible will be most helpful. Comments can be provided any time by emailing ethics.policy@lacity.org or by calling (213) 978-1960.

 
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