What is Restaurant Day at the Capitol? Restaurant Day at the Capitol is an event sponsored by the CRA where restaurateurs like you gather to learn and practice lobbying for industry legislation at the state level. It is a full-day event including a lobbying workshop and an overview of relevant bills in your state legislature. Appointments are made for you with the legislators that represent you so you can visit with the legislators (or their staff) face to face and ask for industry-friendly votes.
Will I be talking to lawmakers face to face? Yes, every attempt will be made to schedule a meeting with the legislators that represent you at the state capitol. In the event that your legislator cannot meet with you personally, you will get a chance to talk with one of his or her key staffers. Your meeting will generally only last a few minutes and you’ll be offered specific talking points and training on what to cover during the meeting.
Will I be escorted or alone? Attendees are grouped according to their address given when registering, or by districts where you have a location and, in most cases, are escorted by CRA staff. CRA will provide helpful information regarding your specific meeting groups, times and locations the morning of April 18th, as the legislative offices continue to change meeting times up until the day before.
What legislation will we be discussing? There are many, many restaurant bills filed each year during the legislative session. We choose our priority bills for Restaurant Day at the Capitol based upon several factors, including their impact and chance of passage. There may be other issues or topics that are important to you, but focusing on the selected bills we’ve chosen will make the most impact to your visit at the Capitol.
What should I wear? Dress professionally to meet with legislators. A business suit or slacks/skirt and a jacket are appropriate for Restaurant Day at the Capitol. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
I can only make it for part of the day. Is that OK? The event is designed to build throughout the day. The workshop in the morning prepares attendees for legislator meetings and those meetings are the true purpose of the day. It’s important to plan to attend the entire event. It is not advised to miss the morning briefing and expect to be prepared for the meeting with your legislators, as you may then be lacking the current political climate and context for which you will enter.
Is there anything I can do to prepare? It’s helpful to know your legislators before going into a meeting with them. Most elected officials have a website. Do some investigating online to learn some background on your legislators.
Find your California representative: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Find quick answers to your questions about the CRA and navigating calrest.org.