ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT - Neighborhood Council Leaders have demanded a robust update to the municipal lobbying ordinance, which closes current loopholes and does not create new loopholes.
Forty-five Neighborhood Councils representing stakeholders across every City Council district have passed community impact statements demanding the advancement of the municipal lobbying ordinance (MLO), which has not undergone comprehensive reform since 1994. Twice before, in 2008 and 2016, recommendations from the Ethics Commission have died without a vote by the City Council. We will not accept this happening for a third time. Articles in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News have highlighted the unprecedented campaign by Neighborhood Councils in support of a robust and enforceable MLO, which closes loopholes and does not open the door to new loopholes.
We thank the Ethics Commission for their work in crafting a revised municipal lobbying ordinance which took into account the call by Neighborhood Council Leaders for greater disclosure. We also thank the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates for their support of our advocacy. Like noted good government advocates, “we believe that changes to the Ethics Commission's proposed updates are needed to ensure the City's MLO is effective in achieving its purpose of transparency, accountability, and a level civic playing field.” However, we have been disturbed by the reported push for carve outs by unions and nonprofits. These exemptions do not advance the public interest or the public trust.
We have received word that the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance will be appearing again on March 6 before the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform chaired by City Council President Paul Krekorian. We have also been informed that there is a major push by labor unions and non-profits to seek major exemptions for their respective organizations.
We are asking you to sign on to this letter as an individual.
Please forward it to a member of your Neighborhood Council and your friends who you believe would be interested in signing on as a supporter. It is very important that we have a strong show of support to present to the City Council or we risk having a worse ordinance than we currently have.
We truly and deeply believe that sunshine is the greatest disinfectant and that passing a robust update to the municipal lobbying ordinance is one of the most significant ethics reforms we can make without revisions to the charter.
FYI, there was an editorial in the Los Angeles Times supporting the Municipal Lobby Ordinance, L.A. is finally cracking down on stealth lobbying.
(Jamie York is a resident of Reseda and serves on the Reseda Neighborhood Council. She writes in her capacity as an individual.)