State legislators especially are receptive to constituent comments
State legislators especially are receptive to constituent comments.
Your message should be short and direct. It is fine to express your personal opinion.
Use all available resources
You don't need to be an expert, but the more facts and arguments you have on your side, the better.
Cultivate relationships with legislative staff
Establish a positive relationship with staff persons. They are usually more accessible and can have tremendous influence over an issue.
If you don't know the answer to something, admit it
and try to get the information later. Also, when working with legislators who
sponsor your bill, be sure to be up front about any potential problem areas.
Research your legislators
Ask around, talk to others who have worked for
legislative change—on any issue—and ask their advice on which legislators are
most effective or which committees are most likely to approve of your bill.
Identify your bill or issue clearly
Whenever you get a chance to lobby elected officials,
don't just refer to your effort by the bill number. And always make it clear
whether you are asking for their support or opposition to the matter.
During the legislative session, constantly check your bill's Status
Most legislative entities have a bill status
information office. At certain times, action occurs quickly and with little
Keep things friendly
Maintain a positive relationship with all
legislators—they may be in this office or a higher one for decades. Threats and
hostile or sarcastic remarks are not productive. Do not create any enemies.
Avoid party politics
Restaurants have friends on both sides of the aisle.
Sometimes compromise is a must. Support legislative strategies that may save an otherwise doomed bill: adoption of sunset provisions, grandfathering clauses and placing provisions into regulations instead of statute.
Say thank you
Thank everyone and let your members know how helpful key legislators were in your success.
Find quick answers to your questions about the CRA and navigating calrest.org.