Ask the Experts - Seattle Grassroots Lobbying - State and Federal Communications

February 3, 2022  •  

Ask the Experts – Seattle Grassroots Lobbying

Seattle City Hall - Rootology

I heard the city of Seattle requires reporting and registration for grassroots lobbying? Who is required to register and how do I comply with all reporting requirements?

Yes, any person who spends $1,500 or more within three months or $750 or more within one month to present a program to the public primarily to influence legislation is considered a grassroots lobbying campaign sponsor and must register within 30 days after becoming an indirect lobbyist. The city law is modeled on existing state law requiring similar registration and reporting requirements for state lobbyists.

Every sponsor required to register must also file monthly reports by the 10th day of the month for activity during the preceding month. The report must update the information contained in the registration statement and must report any contributions and expenditures made during the previous month. When the campaign has been terminated, the sponsor must file a notice of termination with the final monthly report.

Registration statements and reports must include the following: (1) information about the sponsor: including name, address, business or occupation, and if the sponsor is not an individual, the names, addresses, and titles of the controlling sponsors; (2) information about the campaign organizers, managers, and anyone hired to assist the campaign: including name, address, business or occupation, and terms of compensation; (3) information about contributors: including the name, address, and the aggregate amount of each person contributing $25 or more; (4) purpose of the campaign: including specific legislation, rates, standards or proposals that are the subject matter of the campaign; and (5) the total expenditures made or incurred to date segregated by category.

While the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) is working on an updated lobbying reporting application that will allow for online reporting of indirect aka grassroots lobbying sponsorships, it is not yet complete. Registrations and reports may be accomplished with the same form template found on our website and can be emailed back to the commission at

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