State Lobbying Contract
On November 9, 2022 Houston City Council voted 16 to 1 to approve a two year agreement with Locke Lord LLP for state lobbying services for the City of Houston. The maximum spending authority for the agreement is $757,000.00.
The scope of work requires the contractor to work with the Government Relations office to provide lobbying services for proactive legislation, adverse legislation, filed legislation, and general services.
Specifically, the Contractor’s services shall include the following:
- Develop and execute a government relations plan of action to lobby the state legislature and work with elected officials and state agencies on legislation identified by the City,
- Represent the interests of the City at the state level in seeking, supporting or opposing legislation, rules, regulations, policies and programs that may affect the City, including drafting proposed legislation and amendments; identifying sponsors of legislation and amendments; and lobbying the passage or defeat of legislation and amendments, and
- Engage subcontractors to be part of the lobby team, and pay, manage and direct the subcontractors during the 87th Legislature, Regular Session; and Government relations services
General City Federal Lobby Contract
On July 18, 2018, Houston City Council approved a two year agreement with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (“Akin Gump”), with an additional one year option, to advocate for the City before the United States Congress and Federal agencies. The maximum spending authority for the agreement is $744,000.
On June 30, 2021, the contract was extended for an additional one year term, increasing the maximum spending authority to $992,000.
On June 22, 2022, the contract was extended for an additional one year term, increasing the maximum spending authority to $1,240,000.
Akin Gump has provided successful federal representation for the City since February 2005. Over the years, the firm has advanced the City’s interests on a broad range of issues including: workforce development, clean air and water, federal flood insurance, water infrastructure, payday lending, NASA and investment in Johnson Space Center, expansion of William P. Hobby Airport for international service, freight rail investment and safety, transportation funding, law enforcement, housing, and disaster assistance.
Akin Gump will continue to assist the City on a broad range of issues involving federal policy, including identifying federal funding for City priorities related to law enforcement, interoperable communications, transportation and rail, housing and economic development, parks, energy efficiency, flood control, and health and human services; advocating for maximum funding for critical programs, including Community Development Block Grants and law enforcement; assisting the City in working with HUD regarding program compliance; ensuring that NASA is sufficiently funded and that Johnson Space Center (JSC) retains missions and contractor work; and pursuing economic development funding for Complete Communities. As in the past, Akin Gump will continue to make the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations aware of developments in Washington that may affect the City and assist in developing strategies to achieve the City’s objectives in Washington, including maintaining frequent communication with members of the Houston Congressional delegation and Executive Branch officials.
Texas Municipal League Membership
The City of Houston is a member of the Texas Municipal League (TML). Current membership was approved by Houston City Council on October 13, 2021 by motion number 2021-0567. Dues were $94,348 for a one year period.
TML has a membership of 1,150 cities and exists solely to provide services to Texas cities, serving as an effective advocacy organization for Texas municipalities, both large and small, with regard to positions on pending legislation to members of both the Texas Legislature and Congress. It advocates for cities on a wide range of issues, including transportation, water, economic development, and job creation.
The organization employs full-time attorneys who are available to provide advice and information on municipal legal matters. TML sponsors conferences and educational events and publishes informational materials to keep members apprised of current issues affecting municipal government. During the interim, TML monitors and advises cities on all interim committees and issues.
City staff members are represented at policy meetings. The City also has representation on the Executive Board of Directors.
To increase transparency, the Mayor’s Office for Governmental Relations is happy to provide the following contracts the City has executed for lobbying services. Please contact Director Bill Kelly with any further questions. The links below are .pdf, unless otherwise indicated