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Visiting Your Legislators Made Easy

June 17, 2016

Visiting your legislator can be easy, but the first time you do anything can be a little intimidating – a little nerve racking. That’s only the first time. We all need to get that one over with as soon as possible because we need your help.

We need your legislators to hear your voice on community association issues. We want to make it as easy as possible for you, so we’ve provided a step by step process to visiting your legislators. First, get to know the issues.

On the CAI-CLAC Website
If you are a member be sure to sign up for CLAC-TRAC e-news on the website (www.caiclac.com) under the Get Involved tab. If you’re not a CAI member, the first step is to join. That’s under the same tab!

When the email comes to contact your legislator (a call to action), CAI-CLAC will send you the information you need about our position and issues with the bill you are calling about. All you need to do is click the link in the alert to send a letter to your legislator.

Fortunately, it is all detailed for you if you want to get to know your legislator without a Call to Action. On the Get Involved tab at the top center of the home page:

  1. Click on the Contact Your Legislator subtab. There you can search to identify your representatives by inputting your home zip code. Click on SEARCH BY ADDRESS.
    a.   Add your home street address to the next page.
    b.   This should pull up a list of elected officials who represent you, the constituent. CAI-CLAC  serves you in California so click on your State Assembly and Senate representatives. Write down or copy their contact information.
  2.  Call your Assembly member or Senate member’s District Office, ask for the District Director.
    a. Explain who you are, who you represent (your association, management company, etc. and Community Associations Institute).
    b. If there are specific bills to discuss, name them by number, author, and topic.
    c. Ask to set a time on a Friday to meet with your Assembly member, if possible. Assembly members are usually in the District on Fridays, and are in Sacramento the rest of the week. Staff is just as good, because they research legislation and brief the Assembly member.
    d. If you cannot meet with anyone in a timely manner, ask to leave your comments and recommendation by phone or email.

Visiting Your Legislator
After you schedule your visit, go to caiclac.com again. Under the Get Involved tab go to What to Expect When Visiting Your Legislator subtab.
a. Read and do all 14 steps outlined, including the last paragraph.
b. Read the material on the tab, What to Take to Your Legislator’s Office.
c. Contact your local CAI Chapter, or go to the Resources tab and click on Visiting Your Legislator to gather the materials to take with you.

When you click directly on the Get Involved tab, instead of the sub tab, you will learn How to Respond to a Call to Action.
a. Read the information on this page.
b. Watch the full two minute, 49 second film of an actual call on a legislator.
c. In the last paragraph, click on “here” for what to bring on the visit. Bring two copies, for the legislator and a staff member. Staff will read material and brief the legislator.

If this is your first time visiting with a legislator, it is recommended that you ask an experienced member of your Chapter’s Legislative Support Committee to attend with you. Allow yourself a week to gather materials, talk to your chapter representatives, or to email Skip Daum at caiclac@aol.com. Many Chapters have folders, or binders you can use to put materials in.

To encourage you to spend some time with our resource-rich website CLAC is holding a contest. To be eligible to win the $25 VISA Gift Card, visit the CAI-CLAC website. There you will need to identify and watch the two advocacy videos (hint: we’ve already provided one to you). Once you watch the videos you will need to identify the percentage of legislators that say a constituent visit could help them reach a decision. Write this information (location of two advocacy videos and percentage of legislators) down in an email and send it to PRchair@caiclac.com. Submissions with the correct information will be entered into a drawing for a $25 VISA Gift Card.

All entries must be emailed no later than Friday, June 24, 2016. Gift card will be mailed or presented at a chapter meeting. All decisions regarding winners are the PR Chair’s. All decisions are final. Rules are subject to change. No cost or purchase necessary. An unknown number of people may participate. You must be over 18 to enter.

Good luck!

Dick Pruess

Dick Pruess

A CAI-CLAC post with contributing content from Dick Pruess, an At-Large Delegate to CAI-CLAC from Pasadena and past CLAC Chair.

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