Our Story / About Us
The organization started as a concept among a circle of friends who possessed insider knowledge of the political system. They chose to leverage their acquired skills for the public's advantage, leading to the development of a distinctive initiative both in Israel and globally, aimed at bridging the gap between the general populace and those in positions of authority.
Our Story / About Us
The initiative started in June 2015 as a crowdfunding campaign on the Headstart platform. Although the initial fundraising goal was set at 70,000 NIS, the project quickly garnered support from 1,084 backers during the first campaign, raising a total of 136,041 NIS, almost double the original target.
At this phase, Attorney Linor Deutsch joined the initiative as the first public lobbyist (current CEO of the organization), and the four-month pilot phase was launched. Due to its immediate accomplishments and significant success, the decision was made to formalize the initiative as a permanent organization in Israel. In fact, it has now become the largest crowdfunding initiative in Israel, boasting thousands of supporters.
As more members join the initiative and the budget expands, we continue to enlist more public lobbyists. Presently, the initiative employs 15 individuals engaged in various overarching issues.
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Why Lobby 99?
The name of the initiative combines two elements, "Lobby" and "99." Similar to the initiative's activities, which are rooted in the lobbying techniques of commercial lobbying firms, the name draws from the moniker associated with lobbyists. This stems from their work within the lobby of the British Parliament at the inception of the endeavor and continues today in the corridors and lobbies of parliamentary institutions worldwide, including the Knesset and government offices.
In order to distinguish the social initiative from commercial lobbying organizations representing affluent individuals, it was decided to call the organization "Lobby 99." This name aligns with the social slogan "We are the 99%," which gained popularity during Israel's social protest, symbolizing the representation of 99% of Israel's population lacking the financial resources to engage commercial lobbying firms, in contrast to the 1% represented by tycoons.
Expanding & Developing
With the development and expansion of the lobby, a legal department was established, led by Dr. Einat Solnik. Her recent areas of activity include:
- Challenging the arbitration arrangement related to the misallocation of tax funds in Bank HaPoalim. Although a decision is still pending, the court has supported our stance and has requested answers from the bank to respond to our inquiries.
- Filing an appeal with the Supreme Court against ICL's substantial exemption from water bill payments. The conditional order issued compels the state to furnish us with an explanation and justification for not mandating water fee payments from Dead Sea factories.
In 2019, Ariel Paz-Suizky spearheaded the creation of our Research Department, which lays the groundwork and conducts the research for all of our initiatives.
In 2020, the Marketing Department was launched under the leadership of our Vice President, Itai Lapid, who oversees fundraising, community outreach, new media, and PR efforts.