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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.


Lobbying Recommendations

Tell us what you think! A number of possible changes to the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance were discussed at the Ethics Commission’s last meeting, based on public input, our experiences in administering the law, and best practices in other jurisdictions. You can find the complete report from the August 2017 meeting by clicking here. Some of the key recommendations include the following:

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 indirect lobbyists (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 to bi-monthly and shortening the filing deadline to ten days.
  • Requiring the same filing schedule and similar disclosure requirements for all lobbying entities.
  • Adding disclosure of the 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.

The lobbying discussion will continue at the next Ethics Commission meeting on October 17, 2017, in City Hall Room 1060 at 9:30 a.m. Please let us know what you think. Your comments are a valuable part of the review process and will help the Ethics Commission shape this important law. Written comments can be provided any time by emailing ethics.policy@lacity.org.

 
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