Municipal lobbying registration launched by the City of Boston
April 17, 2019
The City of Boston has launched a registration portal for lobbyists in Boston. Signed into law by Mayor Martin J. Walsh in September 2018, Boston's municipal lobbying ordinance aims to further promote good governance and transparency in the City of Boston, and requires lobbyists, lobbyist entities and lobbying clients to register with the Boston City Clerk's Office. Also in 2019, there will be two disclosure statement reporting requirements with: a statement due on or before July 20, 2019, and a statement due on or before October 20, 2019. Additional information and registration fees are available online.
Starting April 16, lobbyists, lobbyist entities, and their clients must register with the City Clerk's Office each year. They also need to file disclosure statements four times each calendar year. Registration is available on boston.gov.
"After years of effort and negotiations from when I first filed these reforms, I am proud that the City Council has worked with my administration to pass an ordinance creating a system that brings transparency and accountability to municipal lobbying for the first time," said Mayor Walsh. "This ordinance will help the City of Boston continue to meet the high expectations of transparency and accountability that Boston's residents expect and deserve."
The ordinance specifies that each person or entity that qualifies as a lobbyist, lobbying entity or lobbying client shall register within 10 days after so qualifying with the City Clerk. On or before the 20th day of January, April, July and October of each year, those who register under the municipal lobbying ordinance must also file a lobbying report.
In addition to registration and filing deadlines, the ordinance also creates a City-level enforcement commission, to help ensure compliance with the ordinance. The Mayor's three appointees to the commission are attorneys Stephanie Everett of Mattapan and Sammy Nabulsi of Roxbury, and Vivien Li, former president of The Boston Harbor Association. The remainder of the commission is made up of the City Clerk or her designee, and the President of the City Council or her designee.
This lobbying registration further supports Mayor Walsh's work to ensure open and transparent governance in the City of Boston. Work to ensure transparency includes Boston's open data set portal, Analyze Boston, which provides frequently-requested data sets and information to Boston residents. Earlier this month, Mayor Walsh released his fiscal year 2020 budget, building on Boston's AAA bond rating and using Boston's economic success to create more opportunities for all neighborhoods and all residents.