As Lyft's vice president of government relations, Okpaku oversees the San Francisco startup's efforts to influence the laws and regulations that are springing up to govern the burgeoning industry.

It's a busy job that involves working with legislators in different states, managing Lyft's lobbying and connecting with the Public Utilities Commission, the body that regulates ride-hailing in California.

Joe Okpaku, Lyft's vice president of government relations, poses inside the secret Willy Wonka room Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, at the company's new China Basin offices in San Francisco, Calif. Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group

In California alone, legislators introduced more than a dozen ride-hailing bills this session, which ended Wednesday.

The industry has come a long way from 2012, when there were zero bills addressing ride-hailing in any state, he said, signifying the growing importance lawmakers place on services like Lyft.

Q What has been Lyft's biggest legislative victory so far this year in California?A A law that would officially endorse the concept of short-term rentals in the ride-sharing context AB 2763 made it through the Legislature in August .

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