Community

Public Policy

Advocacy at the State and National Level

Since children are not able to advocate for themselves, it is essential that early childhood professionals, advocacy organization, and parents work together to ensure their best interests and well-being are protected through policies that support quality early childhood programs for all families. Advocacy works!

Please check back regularly for information about current issues that need your support and to find out ways you can help.

Become an advocate – write your elected officials:

If you would like to participate in the public policy process by advocating for an issue that is important to you, consider writing a letter or e-mail, making a phone call, or making a visit to your elected officials. The following are some tips to help you write an effective letter:

  1. Use the link below to find your elected officials.
  2. At the beginning of your letter, identify your full name and complete home address.
  3. Clearly state your issue or concern. Be as specific as possible, and explain why you are interested in the issue. If possible, provide a story about yourself.
  4. Ask for a specific action, for example, vote “yes” on Assembly Bill 123 or increase funding for the ABC Education Program.
  5. Request a reply and thank your elected official for reading your letter.
  6. Your letter should fit on one 8 ½ by 11 page.
  7. Letters can be sent via the United States Postal Services, or in many cases, by electronic mail.

Find your elected officials (State Senate and Assembly Representatives):

Use this link to identify your elected officials. http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Complete Legislative Roster with current addresses and phone numbers:

The following links provide a complete Legislative Roster, with current telephone numbers and mailing addresses.

State Senate – http://senate.ca.gov/senators

State Assembly – http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers

RESOURCES

California Legislative Process:

If you are interested in the California legislative process and would like to know how an idea or concept becomes California Law, click here.

Current Legislative Calendar:

The following link provides the current legislative calendar.

http://senate.ca.gov/sites/senate.ca.gov/files/agreedcalendar2015_0.pdf

Register to Vote: One way to advocate for children and working families is to vote for national and state elected officials, legislators, county supervisors, and city council representatives that support family friendly policies and work to ensure early learning as a priority. Using your vote and organizing your community around issues affecting children can send a powerful message to elected officials that these issues matter and demand their attention.

If you are not registered to vote and would like the opportunity to participate in local, state, and federal elections, or if you would like to find out if you are eligible to register to vote, follow the link below.

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/

Advocacy at the Local Level

In addition to advocacy on the state level, consumer stakeholders can also advocate at the local level through county and city government by working through your county Board of Supervisors or City Council.

Your local county Board of Supervisors is responsible for oversight of county departments and services, including child welfare and other social services, some public assistance programs and subsidized child care. The Board sets priorities for the county; oversees most county departments and programs and annually approves their budgets; supervises the official conduct of county officers and employees; controls all county property; and appropriates and spends money on programs that meet county residents’ needs. For more information on county government structure, see: 

http://www.counties.org/general-information/county-structure-0

Board of Supervisors Meeting:

A Board of Supervisors usually meets on a bi-weekly basis. Members of the public may address their local Board at regular or special meetings. Typically, you must request time to make a comment beforehand. If you are interested in providing input to your local board, here are some tips to help you:

  • Use an internet search to look for your local board’s webpage. 
    ​Most boards will post their meeting schedule, agendas, minutes and meeting procedures on their webpage. Meeting procedures include instructions on public participation at meetings.
  • Contact the Clerk of the Board or Executive Officer to submit your comments or request time to speak.
    In addition to making comments at a board meeting, you may also find it useful to contact the Supervisor for your district directly.

City Council Meetings:

If your issue relates specifically to city government, you may find it best to address your local City Council. To address your local city council, look to your city’s website for information on council meetings and guidelines for public participation. For additional information on cities, their structure, power, and governance, see: 

http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101

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