Atlanta City Council member Jennifer Ide, joined by Council Members Andre Dickens, Matt Westmoreland, and Amir Farokhi, has introduced legislation that would require any individual and/or principal seeking to influence legislative or administrative actions of the city of Atlanta to register as a lobbyist (Legislative Reference No. 18-O-1461). The city of Atlanta does not currently regulate the lobbying of elected Atlanta officials.
“It is in the public’s interest to fully disclose the full range of efforts to lobby city government,” Ide said. “This legislation is an essential step to maintaining citizen confidence in the city of Atlanta government.”
“This is another step toward a comprehensive overhaul of our City’s ethics code,” said Dickens. “City Council will be taking additional steps this term to ensure we have best practices in place to ensure a transparent and ethical government.”
The lobbying code seeks to: ensure the community and those who manage the community have easy, timely access to information about attempts to influence the City’s decisions; prohibit improper influence on City officials and employees and prohibit City officials from exerting improper coercion on those who seek to influence them; avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption; and reinforce the community’s trust in the integrity of the city of Atlanta government.
The legislation would apply the same rules to all persons engaged in lobbying activities, regardless of their position, training or license, and whether they are represented by others or consider themselves a lobbyist.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, the City would be required to provide notice of its lobbying code to every City contract purchase order, standing order, direct payment, as well as requests for proposals (RFP), requests for qualifications (RFQ), requests for letters of interest (RFLI), and invitations for bids issued by the City, as well as requests for a grant, loan, or license, applications for land-use permits, development agreements, and for changes in zoning map designation as well as future land use map changes.
The Finance/Executive committee will consider the legislation at its next meeting on Aug. 15 at 1 p.m.