We support City Council bills sponsored by Councilmember Lincoln Restler (Intros 889 and 890) tightening up NYC lobbying laws. The bills will help reduce revolving door politicking and influence-peddling. In particular, these bills make it harder for City Hall and top agency officials to start immediately lobbying the city government upon leaving office, which is a good thing for the public.
These bills are steps forward and we urge the Council to pass them.
Ultimately, we would like to see lobbying oversight done by a new, independent lobbying and ethics enforcement agency that is clearly separate from both the Mayor and City Council. (Currently, lobbying is overseen by the City Clerk, which is a patronage arm of the City Council. Conflicts of interest and post-lobbying restrictions are enforced by the Conflicts of Interest Board, which does not have an independent budget and has a majority of appointments made by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the City Council.)
Until then, we appreciate the Council’s efforts to continuously improve the law and work towards an ever better and fairer democracy.