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Who is a lobbyist?
A person may meet the description of one or more of three types of lobbyists depending on the circumstances.

(a) A “Contract Lobbyist” is a person (either an entity or an individual) with a client who compensates the person to engage in lobbying activity on their behalf. The compensation must be $1,000 or more in any consecutive three months and can be for any services as long as one of those services is lobbying activity.

(b) An “In-House Lobbyist” is an entity including a sole proprietorship whose owners, officers, and employees are compensated by the entity to engage in lobbying activity on its behalf and whose collective time totals ten (10) hours or more in any consecutive twelve (12) month period. An owner is deemed to be compensated based on his or her financial interest in the entity.

The time an officer or employee spends on lobbying activity for his or her employer and/or personal initiative which is not compensated would not be attributed to the 10 hour threshold.

(c) An “Expenditure Lobbyist” is any person that pays or incurs a cost in the amount of $5,000 or more in a calendar year for a public relations campaign, advertising or similar activity to solicit and urge others to lobby. All payments or expenditures in the calendar year from the person should be aggregated to determine whether the collective amount is $5,000 or more. This form of indirect lobbying excludes compensation paid to Contract Lobbyists or In-House Lobbyists for lobbying activity and dues and donations paid to an organization.

If you meet the descriptions for any of the three types of lobbyists listed above, you are required to register with the City of San Jose as a lobbyist.

City Clerk's Office - Lobbyist Information

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1. Who is a lobbyist?
2. Are nonprofit organizations that have federal tax exempt status subject to the City’s Lobbying Ordinance?
3. Who are City Officials?
4. What are the obligations of City Officials under the City’s Lobbying Ordinance?
5. When is a person engaged in lobbying activity?
6. If I did not have any lobbying activity for the week, do I have still have to file a weekly report?
7. If I, as a lobbyist, call a City Official to schedule a meeting, do I have to report that call as a contact?
8. Should time to conduct the research, prepare the study, to be used in a contact with a City Official be counted as “lobbying activity?”
9. Is the time spent processing an application included as time spent engaged in “lobbying activity?”
10. If a Lobbyist is hosting a 2 hour picnic for Members of the City Council and there is no specific discussion regarding an official action by the City but the Lobbyist engages in a 15 minute conv..
11. If a lobbyist has three (3) Lobbying Activity contacts with a City Official in one day on the same subject matter, is it reported as three (3) contacts or one (1) contact?
12. When is a person not engaged in lobbying activity?
13. How do I register?
14. Are there additional forms that must be filed along with the Lobbyist Reporting Form?
15. When a lobbyist is both a contract lobbyist and an in-house lobbyist for themselves, how should the lobbyist register and what fees do they pay?
16. A Contract Lobbyist added a new client on September 21, 2017 and engaged in lobbying activity on behalf of that new client. A Contract Lobbyist is required to file a weekly report for that week (
17. A Contract Lobbyist has done lobbying for a current client, but has not received compensation in that week. What are the disclosure requirements?
18. A Contract Lobbyist is paid on a monthly basis by a client. When does a Contract Lobbyist report this monthly compensation?
19. When do lobbyists report a campaign contribution to an elected City Official or candidate for City office?
20. When do lobbyists report fundraising activity?
21. A Councilmember has solicited lobbyists for donations from their clients, and those lobbyists in turn, solicited their clients for donations, but no donations actually resulted. What are the disclo..
22. A Contract Lobbyist renews his registration on January 15 anticipating that he will have clients but engages in no lobbying activity in the weeks that follow and decides to submit a Notice of Term...
23. Can an In-House Lobbyist start with a new 10 hour threshold if it files a Notice of Termination?
24. What are the disclosure obligations regarding contingent compensation arrangements?
25. What are examples of Contingent Compensation under Section 12.12.300?
26. Are lobbyists allowed to accept commissions under the City of San Jose’s Lobbying Ordinance?
27. Where can I obtain the necessary forms?
28. Are there any fees and penalties?
29. How is the City’s Lobbying Ordinance enforced?