Lobby Disclosure FAQs
Q: What is the 4-day Rule?
A: Lobbyists must register and report if they lobby for more than four days, or parts thereof for one or more clients/employers during any calendar quarter. Lobbying includes face-to-face contacts, mail, e-mail, or telephonic contacts.
Q: As a lobbyist, I have 3 clients for whom I lobby on City issues. In the last quarter, I didn’t meet the threshold for reporting for any one client. That is, I lobbied for 4 days (or parts thereof) or less for each client. But altogether, I lobbied a total of seven days. Do I have to file a quarterly report? Do my clients have to file Employer reports?
A: Yes. And Yes. The 4-day rule applies to you as the lobbyist. It’s the number of contacts you make during a quarter that triggers the reporting obligation. If you have a reporting obligation, even if the 4-day threshold was not exceeded during the period for any one client, you must include all your client activity on the report. The Client/Employer must file an annual report as well or certify your annual report.
Q: I’m a volunteer for a neighborhood group. Do I have to register as a lobbyist?
A: No. Only paid lobbyists are required to register and file reports.
Q: Does a phone call to set up a meeting constitute a lobbying activity?
A: No. Only those contacts meant to influence legislation are counted against the 4-day rule.
Q: If I meet the qualifications for lobbying, what do I have to file?
Q: What do I have to report in the Compensation field?
A: Report the amount of money you expect to earn per a specific period, eg. $50 per hour, or $5,000 for 3 months.
Q: Do I have to include my whole salary, or can I prorate it for the time I expect to spend on Lobbying?
A: You can prorate your salary, but you must report the dollars per time.
Q: Do I have to include benefits under compensation, eg. health, transit passes, annual/monthly parking, etc.
A: No. Only those expenses for which your Employer is reimbursing you, eg. parking, mileage, meals.
Q: I’m the Executive Director of the non-profit for whom I lobby. Can I authorize myself to lobby on the organization’s behalf?
A: Yes. If you’re not the Executive Director, have a supervisor or manager authorize you.
Q: I am the Employer of a Lobbyist. What do I have to file?
Q: I registered as a lobbyist, but I didn’t have any activity this quarter. Do I have to file a quarterly report?
A: Yes. If you terminate your paid lobbying you can file an amended registration statement noting that it is terminated. You would file a quarterly report for activity up to the date of termination.
Q: I am a lobbyist for a membership organization, do I have to list my members on the Lobbyist Registration?
A: Yes. Unless your organization is made up primarily of members whose primary purpose in joining the organization was for other than influencing legislation, eg. an art museum, or a zoo would not have to list its membership. Business associations, on the other hand, would have to list their membership.
Q: Where can I look up recent legislation?
A: On the City Clerk’s website
Q: How do I Terminate my Status as a Lobbyist at the City? What do I need to do to Stop filing with the City?
A: To Terminate your registration as a lobbyist, you must do all of the following: