For Immediate Release: October 25, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to make long overdue updates to the City of Los Angeles’s Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. The Municipal Lobbying Ordinance provides rules and regulations for lobbyists to ensure adequate and effective disclosure of information to the public regarding efforts to lobby City government.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Ethics Commission conducted a review of the ordinance and presented its findings to the City Council, but the item was never formally agendized for a vote either in the Rules Committee or in full Council – a power that lay with the former Council President. In fact, the Ethics Commission has undertaken three separate reviews of the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance after its adoption in 1994, first in 2008, 2016, and then again in 2022. However, until now, the City Council has failed to act on any of these recommendations.
Councilmember Raman’s motion requests the City Attorney, in coordination with the Ethics Commission, to prepare and present a draft ordinance to adopt the Ethics Commission’s proposed reforms regarding the City’s lobbying laws, which can be found in Council File No. 22-0560, as well as to incorporate additional modifications to further strengthen the laws.
“I ran for office and enthusiastically serve in this role because I really believe in the power of government to do good, but we will have a hard time convincing the public of that power if we do not put in place common-sense rules that promote transparency and integrity in elected officials’ decision-making,” said Councilmember Raman. “A critical piece of this work is updating the rules around how lobbyists are allowed to operate, so that the public knows who is attempting to influence City decisions and by what means. Improving the City’s lobbying laws is an essential step towards restoring Angelenos’ faith and confidence in their City.”
Councilmember Raman’s motion seeks to implement the Ethics Commission’s recommendations and to strengthen the City’s lobbying laws with additional amendments, including prohibiting lobbying entities from fundraising for and delivering contributions to City candidates and officeholders, requiring lobbyists to disclose that they are lobbyists and the name of their client whenever they communicate with City personnel either verbally or in writing, and requiring lobbying records to be maintained for at least five years.
“In light of the recent recordings that have shaken this City to its very core, it is imperative that we take decisive action to ensure accountability at all levels of City government,” stated Councilmember Raman.