Who must register and report?
Any person acting on behalf of another who undertakes to influence any legislative or administrative action of the Chicago Park District shall register as a Lobbyist with the District and file semi-annual activity reports.
All lobbyists register by filing a Statement of Registration within five business days of engaging in lobbying activity and annually thereafter by January 20th. An incomplete Statement of Registration will not be accepted. An Amendment to Registration must be filed within 14 days of any addition or substantial change to the information on record with the Board. Also, a Statement of Registration will not be accepted from any person who owes a debt to the Chicago Park District or the City of Chicago until the fine is paid in full.
The Statement of Registration form (Adobe Acrobat file) can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of this page.
Twice each year, by January 20th and July 20th, registrants must file a notarized Activity Report. This report consists of three parts. Part I and Part II must be completed by all registrants. Part III must be completed for each client on whose behalf lobbying was performed, on whose behalf expenditures were made, or from whom compensation was received during the reporting period. Reports that are incomplete will not be accepted. A 30-day extension of time for filing an activity report can be obtained by submitting, not less than 10 days before the date on which the report is due, a written declaration of intention to defer filing.
The Activity Report form (Adobe Acrobat file) can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of this page. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE 3 SEPARATE PARTS TO THIS FORM.
When a registrant terminates the activity that requires registration, the registrant must file a Termination Notice and a final Activity Report that covers the period between the most recently filed Activity Report and the date of termination. A Termination Notice received without a final Activity Report will not be accepted.
The Termination Notice form (Adobe Acrobat file) can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of this page.
Fines and Penalties
A person who fails to register as required is subject to a mandatory penalty of $500 per day. Registrants who fail to file activity reports by the required filing deadline are subject to a mandatory penalty of $500 per day until the reports are filed. A person who retains or employs a lobbyist who has failed to register as required is subject to a $2,000 fine for each day that the non-registered lobbyist lobbies the Park District.
Contingency Fees Prohibited
To employ, retain or serve as a lobbyist for compensation that is contingent in whole or in part upon approval or disapproval of any legislative or administrative matter is prohibited. Any person who violates this prohibition is subject to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $2,000. Links to lobbying forms:
Please note that anyone may print or download the blank forms and filing instructions available in the find out more section of this page, but the Ethics Officer will not accept for filing any form that is returned to the Ethics Officer's offices electronically. Only those forms delivered to the Ethics Officer in person or by mail that contain hand-written signatures can be accepted by the Ethics Officer for filing compliance with the relevant provisions of the Park District's Governmental Ethics Ordinance.
Who is Not a Lobbyist?
On June 17, 2000, the Board of Commissioners passed the Park District's Governmental Ethics Ordinance. Since that time, numerous queries from individuals and organizations have been received asking whether or not their activities are considered lobbying. The following is representative of situations where a person is NOT lobbying. As always, this summary is only an overview. For authoritative guidance on specific questions, consultation with the Ethics Officer is recommended.
A restaurant owner or caterer who applies to Park Services for food and liquor licenses.
A supplier of goods who responds to an RFP (a Request for Proposals).
An attorney who appears for a Personnel Board Hearing on behalf of a Park District employee.
An officer of a not-for-profit corporation who meets with a representative of a Park District department to learn how to discuss joint programming.
A Park District Advisory Council member who testifies before the Board of Commissioners against a project in his park.
A Park patron who calls the Park District to request additional programming at her local park.
An attorney who files a notice of appearance in a case in which the Park District is a codefendant.
An attorney representing the Park District's adversary in litigation who comes to the Law Department to try to work out a compromise and reach a settlement.
A consultant hired by a landscaper who assists the company in responding to an RFP (Request for Proposals). (The consultant receives a fee if the company's proposal is accepted.)
LOBBYIST means any person who, on behalf of any person other than himself, or as any part of his duties as an employee of another, undertakes to influence any legislative or administrative action, including but not limited to:
(1) a bond inducement ordinance; (2) a concession agreement; (3) the introduction, passage or other action to be taken on an ordinance, resolution, motion, order, appointment or other matter before the Park District Board of Commissioners; (4) the preparation of contract specifications; (5) the solicitation, award or administration of a contract; (6) the award or administration of a grant, loan, or other agreement involving the disbursement of public monies; or (7) any other determination made by an employee or a Commissioner of the Park District with respect to the procurement of goods, services or construction.
The term "lobbyist" shall include, but not be limited to, any attorney, accountant, or consultant engaged in the above-described activities; provided, however, that an attorney shall not be considered a lobbyist while representing clients in a formal adversarial hearing; and provided further that the term "lobbyist" shall not include a person who, on an unpaid basis, seeks to influence legislative or administrative action on behalf of an entity that is not engaged in a profit-seeking enterprise; further provided that an employee, officer or director of a not-for-profit entity who seeks to influence legislative or administrative action on behalf of such an entity shall not be considered a lobbyist for purposes of this chapter.
PERSON means any individual, entity, corporation, partnership, firm, association, union, trust, estate, as well as any parent or subsidiary of any of the foregoing, whether or not operated for profit.
LEGISLATION AND LEGISLATIVE ACTION means the introduction, sponsorship, consideration, debate, amendment, passage, defeat, approval, veto or other official action or non-action of or on any ordinance, resolution, motion, order, appointment, application or other matter pending or proposed by the Board or in a committee or subdivision thereof including any other matter which may be the subject of board action.
ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION means any decision on, or any proposal, consideration,debate, enactment or making of any rule, regulation, or other official non-ministerial action or non-action by any office,department, or any officer or employee of any matter that is within the official jurisdiction of the General Superintendent.
COMPENSATION means money, thing of value or other pecuniary benefit received or to be received in return for, or as reimbursement for, services rendered or to be rendered.
EXPENDITURE means a payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES means services in any occupation requiring advanced or specialized education and training, including without limitation law, accounting, insurance, real estate, engineering, medicine, architecture, dentistry, banking, finance, public relations, education or consulting.
GIFT means any thing of value received or to be received,but shall not include "compensation" or a "Political Contribution" as defined in the Park District's Ethics Code.