I know you guys are all just dying to read all about last night’s disaster of a discussion about the parking meter hours, but unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow for that. By now, everyone’s aware of what happened (they delayed a decision until next meeting), and honestly, the whole thing deserves a more thoughtful post than I could possibly hope to pull together during my lunch hour.
For now, I just want to give everyone a heads up about a special meeting of Oakland’s Public Ethics Commission tomorrow night, about possible revisions to Oakland’s lobbying rules. I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now, and just haven’t been able to find the time. But it is important, so I’m going to have to take the lame way out and just reprint the meeting announcement for you:
The Oakland Public Ethics Commission announces a special meeting on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 6:30 PM.
To receive public comment and discuss recommendations for amending portions of Oakland’s lobbyist registration act. Topics will include:
- Whether the Act’s registration and reporting requirements should be limited to paid, professional representatives of an organization or include volunteer representatives as well,
- Whether persons who lobby City officials should have to communicate a minimum number of times or devote a certain amount of their time to lobbying before triggering a registration requirement,
- Whether the Act should exempt persons from registering if the communications they make are 1) made in writing or at a public meeting or, 2) made on behalf of certain non-profit groups that operate on City property and provide a public service.
I have a lot to say about this, and tragically, no time to say it. I will of course be giving you the dish about the meeting after the fact, but if you feel strongly about this issue (and I know that a lot of people do), all I can offer at the moment is a suggestion that you read the staff reports (first one (PDF), second one (PDF), and third one (PDF)) to get a sense of what’s under consideration and try to make it down to City Hall tomorrow evening.