Johnson wants to register lobbyists
Mayor Beverly Johnson is set to ask her dais-mates tonight for their okay to task city staff with the job of developing a new ordinance requiring lobbyists to register with the city.
“Given that a number of cities, including Oakland and Los Angeles, have already developed lobbying disclosure ordinances and lobbyist registries, I recommend that staff move forward to develop this ordinance this fiscal year so that it will be in place well in advance of the November City election,” Johnson wrote in a request to members of the City Council to be heard at their regular meeting tonight.
Developing a lobbyist registry was one of the things the council had wanted the Sunshine Task Force it created to consider recommending. The task force, incidentally, is set to present its list of priorities tonight.
Oakland’s ordinance, which was passed in 2002, requires local government lobbyists to register with the City Clerk. Lobbyists must also file quarterly reports that spell out what issues they’re working and for who, and what city staff and leaders they’re talking to in regards to that issue. It also requires lobbyists to report if they hire an elected official, candidate for office, staff member or a family member of any of the above – and vice versa. Lobbyists must also report if they solicited contributions.
The ordinance also limits lobbyists’ ability to pay or incur expenses on behalf of elected officials, candidates for office or city employees. City officials and department heads are barred from acting as lobbyists until they’ve been out of the job for a year.
Those who fail to follow the rules face being barred from lobbying the city or fines. The registration information is a matter of public record.
Separately, the council will get an update on a recently enacted ordinance prohibiting RV, boat and trailer parking on city streets, which has caused a bit of a stir, and on all things SunCal. More on that after tonight’s meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. (if we’re lucky) in the council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.