Since entering office, Adams has fashioned himself as the man of the people (even though some may say that as the former mayor's chief of staff for 11 years, he's the consummate "insider"). He has visited more than 100 local businesses, written terse stay-out-of-our-town letters to Wal-Mart, and, this Wednesday, will present an ordinance that would require lobbyists to register with the city. It also would require lobbyists to publicly record their time spent with city officials. Ultimately, the ordinance will not change who has access to elected officials--but it would pry open the door on backroom meetings. This concept of openness has become so pervasive at Adams' office that his staffers have begun using the term "sunshine" as a verb.
Ironically, a primary criticism of the former mayor was that her office often signed, sealed, and delivered deals behind closed doors. This ordinance would at least allow reporters or intrepid citizens to find out who has the ear of elected officials--and who is trying to make these deals. Meetings would be recorded and tracked on a city website.
Union representatives and other big business representatives have raised questions about what constitutes lobbying and what could simply be considered "educating" elected officials. Adams has responded that, in part, the system would rely greatly on the "honor code."