Lobby 99 is a non-profit, non-partisan, crowd-funded organization that employs the methods of corporate lobbyists to advance the public interest for the vast majority of the public that cannot afford to hire corporate lobbyists to represent them in the halls of power. We aim to promote issues that serve the 99%, and to do so in ways that forge broad coalitions across the political spectrum
Lobby 99’s main topics of focus are:
- 🚌 Promoting investment and efficiency in public transportation;
- 🤝 Reducing of the influence of money in politics;
- 🔍 Government transparency;
- 🏭 Equitable distribution of the nation’s natural resources (natural gas, the Dead Sea Works);
- 📈 Holding pension and insurance companies to account over management fees and responsible investment;
- 💳 Promoting competition in the banking sector;
- 🏗 Fighting corruption in local governments;
- 💊 Countering the influence of pharmaceutical and other lobbyists in the healthcare sector.
Lobby 99’s strength comes from its unique and innovative organizational structure. The Lobby’s 6,000 members (and growing) – each paying a monthly fee of their choice – have the right to propose, debate and vote on the issues the Lobby will address. This is our foundational principle: to promote civic participation, updating and involving our members in the issues we promote. The Lobby receives money only from private citizens, and only through their membership fees, with no funding from any other sources, guaranteeing our independence and effectiveness.
- Transportation: Developed an emergency plan for the growing problem of traffic congestion, and obtained the signatures of over 40 Members of Knesset from across the political spectrum on a policy paper laying out the plan; led to hearings in the Knesset Economics Committee on the crisis in public transportation; wrote a bill setting standards for bus stops that led to the Transportation Ministry promising tens of millions of shekels for installing roofs and awnings on bus stops nationwide; helped the Finance Ministry’s Planning Authority develop and publish new guidelines for urban planning that allow more efficient and comprehensive coverage for public transportation networks.
- Public bailouts for tycoons: Led the public outcry calling to reject and investigate the bailouts of Eliezer Fishman, as well as other tycoons who sought to default on their failed loans at a cost of billions to the public purse; developed policy recommendations for lawmakers intended to increase accountability for irresponsible banking practices.
- Revised competition law: Helped advance legislation transforming the Israel Anti-Trust Authority into the more powerful Competition Authority, which was given new tools to punish anti-competitive monopolies and practices;
- Natural Resources: Helped advance an amendment to the natural resources tax law – proposed by the “Sheshinski 2 Committee” – that will increase the tax revenue from the Dead Sea Works by hundreds of millions of shekels;
- Insurance: Promoted the establishment of an insurance arbitration body staffed with professional arbiters that will allow low-income customers to seek claims against the major insurance companies without being forced to undertake an expensive and lengthy legal proceeding;
- Transparency for lobbyists: Helped pass legislation upping transparency requirements for corporate lobbyists, including the requirement to name their clients when they appear in Knesset committee meetings;
- Pharmaceutical lobbyists: Successfully defended in the High Court of Justice a Health Ministry regulation limiting the contact pharmaceutical lobbyists are permitted to have with doctors;
- Email access to government agencies: Helped pass legislation requiring government agencies to allow public queries via email, removing the requirement of many agencies that all contact take place via fax;
- Banking reform:Helped pass several reforms of the banking sector, including easing requirements to establish new banks; allowing the instant transfer of accounts to different banks, a reform set to go into force within two years that will increase competition between banks; reducing the regulatory hurdles to establishing cooperative banks; advancing legislation establishing rules for private lending platforms, reducing the dependence on major banks;
- Reducing corruption in local government: Helped develop legislation requiring mayoral candidates to submit in writing any campaign contribution they receive; helped develop governance rules strengthening the power of local councils over the mayor, and increasing transparency in local planning and building committees to reduce the conflicts of interest of committee members; campaigning to increase compliance and enforcement of freedom of information laws in local government.