The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a law Wednesday that will crack down on campaign contributions from real estate developers, despite warnings from critics who said it had been too watered down to curb the power of political spending.
The idea, first proposed by council members nearly three years ago, had languished until an FBI raid at City Hall cast a fresh spotlight on long-standing concerns about developer donations and political power.
Despite the unanimous vote, some on the council made clear they were not enthusiastic about the proposal, with Councilman Mike Bonin saying the city needs to stop approving “piecemeal crap.”
Councilman David Ryu, who pushed for the new restrictions, acknowledged that the new ordinance is “not perfect” and does not go as far as he and many reformers had hoped. But he heralded it as a first step toward restoring trust in City Hall, one that would start to combat the perception that developer money drives their decisions about what gets built in Los Angeles.
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