The following is supplemental information on how to write your personal story to your representative:
- Guide to Writing Personal Stories
- Writing Letters to Your Representative
- 2015 Sample Letter
- Quick Guide to Advocating with your Representative
Don't know who your representative is? Here is a matrix that will identify your State Representative (if you live in ELARC's catchment area)
As a citizen, there are lots of opportunities for you to influence your state's political process. Get started by following the steps below:
Step 1: GET INFORMEDAttend one of our legislative workshops! Click here to view the 2016 flyer. Arm yourself with knowledge and information about the issues that you are concerned with. As an informed citizen, you will have a much greater ability to argue your point of view. Here are some sources of information that you can tap into:
The Legislative Bill RoomThe Legislative Bill Room is located in the basement of the State Capitol. It serves as the liaison between the Office of State Printing, the Legislature, and the public. Here you can get copies of all bills and resolutions within the past two legislative sessions, or 4 years. You can receive up to 100 copies per year free of charge. You can also find out about current legislation through the Internet.
California State ArchivesThe California State Archives collects, catalogs, preserves, and provides access to the historic records of state government and some local governments. The collections document the broad scope of California government and its impact on the people of the state.
Government Policy SourcesLearn about the issues the Governor is working to address while in office. Much of the legislative work of the state takes place in committees. Find out what bills the Assembly Committees and Senate Committees are addressing.
Step 2: EXPRESS YOURSELFOnce you have educated yourself about the issues and formulated an opinion, let someone know what you think! Here's a brief list to get you started:
Contact the GovernorAs a citizen, you are welcomed and encouraged to express your opinions to your Governor. There are several ways to do this. Visit the Governor's Office located in the East Annex of the Capitol. With the Governor's busy schedule, it's unlikely that you will actually speak with him/her personally. But, you can leave a letter at the front desk. If, you can't make it to the Capitol you can email or write to the Governor at the following address:
Governor of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, California 95814
Also, there are district offices that you can visit in Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Contact Your LegislatorThe California Legislature is responsible for creating laws that represent the best interests of California's citizens. Find your State or US Representative (CA Representatives and US Representatives that serves ELARC's catchment area) and let them know what your opinions are on issues that are of concern to you.
NOTICE: As a result of redistricting, your area may be represented by two Senators, or may not be represented by any Senator, during the 2013-14 legislative session.Please contact your local county registrar or elections department to determine how your area was affected by the 2011 redistricting.
Step 3:TAKE ACTION
It's important that your participation in the political process doesn't end with expressing your opinion. You can DO something to actually change current policy. The simplest thing you can do is register to vote.
If you want to do more, testify at a committee hearing. Did you know that the most critical phase in the lifecycle of a bill becoming a law takes place in the committee hearings? All committee hearings are open to the public. Anyone, including you, can testify on behalf of, or against, a proposed bill. Legislators, lobbyists, subject-area experts, and private citizens are generally in attendance at any given committee hearing. The schedule for committee hearings appears in the Daily File at least four days prior to the hearing of the first committee and at least two days prior to subsequent hearings. You can call the Bill Room at 916-445-2323 to obtain the Daily File.
Source: CA State Capitol Museum- Citizen's Guide