Advocacy Toolkit/Herramientas para Abogar

Current Legislation 

Below is a collection of courses and resources from EveryChild California, On the Capitol Doorstep, and other stakeholders invested in advocating for publicly funded early learning and care programs across California.

Click here to access recordings, handouts and resources for all of the advocacy trainings hosted through Zoom from October 2023 
through December 2023. Click here to access all recordings and resources for virtual advocacy training hosted through Zoom from January through March of 2024.

A continuación, encontrará una colección de cursos y recursos de EveryChild California, On the Capitol Doorstep y otras partes interesadas comprometidas con la defensa de los programas de aprendizaje y cuidado infantil financiados con fondos públicos en todo California.

Haga clic aquí para acceder a grabaciones, folletos y recursos de todas las capacitaciones acerca de como abogar a través de Zoom desde octubre de 2023 hasta diciembre de 2023.

Haga clic aquí para acceder a todas las grabaciones y recursos de todas las capacitaciones virtuales acerca de como abogar a través de Zoom de enero a marzo de 2024.

As a bill becomes law, it first is heard in committees, and changes are made to it. Bills always start in their house of origin, meaning if it's an Assembly bill, it will first be assigned to Assembly committees where the public can provide input. If it makes it out of its house of origin, it moves to the other house, where it begins the process again. Most early childhood education bills are heard in Human Services and Education committees. This is important to know so that support letters can be submitted on time and agendas can be found for their hearings.
Cuando un proyecto de ley se convierte en ley, primero se presenta en comités donde se le realizan modificaciones. Los proyectos de ley siempre comienzan en su cámara de origen, lo que significa que si es un proyecto de ley de la Asamblea, primero se asignará a los comités de la Asamblea donde el público puede dar su opinión. Si logra salir de su cámara de origen, pasa a la otra, donde comienza el proceso nuevamente. La mayoría de los proyectos de ley sobre educación infantil temprana se debaten en los comités de Servicios Humanos y Educación. Es importante saber esto para que las cartas de apoyo se puedan enviar a tiempo y se puedan encontrar los calendarios de sus audiencias. 
Committee/Comité Committee Chair/

Titular del comité

Hearing Schedule/Calendario de Audiencias Support Letter Deadlines/Plazos para Cartas de Apoyo Location/ubicación

Senate Education Committee

Comité de Educación del Senado

Senator Josh Newman (Chair) (D)

The Senate Education Committee meets every Wednesday at 9:00 am in Room 2100.

La Comisión de Educación del Senado se reúne todos los miércoles a las 9:00 horas en la Sala 2100

Support and opposition letters are due by 12:00 noon the Friday prior to a scheduled hearing in order to be included in the analyses.

Las cartas de apoyo y oposición deben presentarse antes del mediodía del viernes anterior a la audiencia programada para ser incluidas en los análisis.

1021 O Street, Room 6740
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 651-4105

Email: SEDN.committee@senate.ca.gov

Senate Human Services Committee

Comité de Servicios Humanos del Senado

Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (Chair)

Human Services Committee Hearing days: 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday at 3:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the session at 1021 O Street Room 2200

Días de Audiencia del Comité de Servicios Humanos: Primer, tercer y quinto lunes a las 3:00 p.m. o al término de la sesión, en 1021 O Street Sala 2200

Support and opposition letters must be received by the Committee no later than noon six days prior to the scheduled hearing on the bill in question

Las cartas de apoyo y oposición deben ser recibidas por el Comité a más tardar al mediodía seis días hábiles antes de la audiencia programada para el proyecto de ley en cuestión.

1020 N Street, Room 521
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-1524
Fax: (916) 266-9350

Assembly Education Committee

Comité de Educación de la Asamblea

Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi

Amendments deadline: 12:00 noon, the Monday of the week prior to the hearing date.
Position letter deadline: 5:00 p.m., the Tuesday of the week prior to the hearing date.

El plazo para presentar enmiendas es el mediodía del lunes anterior a la fecha de la audiencia.

El plazo para presentar cartas de posición es a las 5:00 p.m. del martes de la semana anterior a la fecha de la audiencia.

Legislative Office Building

Edificio de Oficinas Legislativas

1020 N Street, Room 159 Phone number: (916) 319-2087

 

Assembly Human Services Committee

Comité de Servicios Humanos de la Asamblea

Assembly Member Alex Lee

The Advocates submission deadline for hearings is the Wednesday one week prior to the hearing date at 5:00 p.m.

El plazo para presentar los documentos de The Advocates para las audiencias es el miércoles de la semana anterior a la fecha de la audiencia, a las 5:00 p.m.

Legislative Office Building

1020 N Street, Room 124  Phone number: (916) 319-2089

Representatives have multiple ways to contact them. They have home office addresses located in the region they represent. They also have an address at the Sacramento Capitol building. From mid-September through December, they can be reached at their local offices, but during the legislative session, January through mid-September, it's best to contact them at the Capitol. Every representative has a homepage with additional information about what bills they support and an events page so you can see where they are going to be and you can join their activities.

Los representantes tienen múltiples formas de contacto. Cuentan con direcciones de oficina local ubicadas en la región que representan, así como una dirección en el edificio del Capitolio de Sacramento. De mediados de septiembre a diciembre, se les puede contactar en sus oficinas locales, pero durante la sesión legislativa, de enero a mediados de septiembre, es recomendable contactarlos en el Capitolio. Cada representante tiene una página web con información adicional sobre los proyectos de ley que apoyan y una página de eventos para que puedas ver dónde estarán y unirte a sus actividades.
Here is a document that gives you access to Senator and Assemblymember's contact information
Este documento le brinda acceso a la información de contacto de los Senadores y Miembros de la Asamblea.
This will also provide information about what committees they participate in. This can be important when tracking a bill through the legislative process. If your representative sits on a committee that will hear a bill that you support, you will want to contact them to let them know you would like them to support the bill. Sending support letters to the committee is also how you are officially recorded as a supporter of a bill.
Además, este documento ofrece información sobre los comités en los que participan los Senadores y Asambleístas. Esto puede ser crucial para seguir el proceso legislativo de un proyecto de ley.
Si su representante forma parte de un comité que evaluará un proyecto de ley que usted apoya, es recomendable contactarlo para hacerle saber su apoyo. Enviar cartas de apoyo al comité es la forma oficial de registrarse como partidario de un proyecto de ley.

The "Swing Space" is the term used for 1021 O Street in Sacramento, which is a building temporarily housing representatives while the Capitol is being renovated. Here is a guide that shows how to navigate the building. 

"Swing Space" es el término utilizado para el edificio ubicado en 1021 O Street en Sacramento, que temporalmente alberga a los representantes mientras se renueva el Capitolio. Esta guía detalla cómo navegar por el edificio.

Understanding the California State Budget Process

Through the following resources, understand how California's Budget Cycle Works. Learn how you can make a difference by sharing your stories with key legislators and the Administration. You are the expert in your field, and they appreciate hearing about how the budget impacts you, your programs, and the families you serve. The first step is understanding how the budget process works and key deadlines.

The State Budget Process Explained

The California Budget and Policy Center, a research and analysis nonprofit advancing public policies that expand opportunities and promote well-being for all Californians, published the following webinar to help understand the process.

The State Budget Visualized 

On the Capitol Doorstep has published the following chart that will help you understand the process. Download the chart here.

A Guide to the State Budget Process

The following report contains valuable information, including terminology to know, how the voting process works, and much more. Download the report here.

Current Budget Proposals 

Current and past California-approved and proposed budgets can be found here.

California's Budget Process - Detailed 

The CA Department of Finance has a site dedicated to explaining the process California uses to enact its budget. You can find that site here.

Citizen's Guide to Participating in the Budget 

Learn how your voice can be heard in the budget process by reading the following publication from the California State Senate.

Understanding the California Legislative Process

Through the following resources, understand how California's Legislative Cycle Works.

The Legislative Process Explained

Initiate Justice, a nonprofit association out of Los Angeles, published the following webinar that describes the legislative process.

The State Legislative Process Visualized 

If you are a visual learner, use the California Legislative Information website's chart to help you understand the legislation process. Along with a chart, it includes an in-depth breakdown of the legislative process going into detail of every step a bill takes before becoming a law or being vetoed.  Download the chart here.

Effective advocacy is all about relationships. 

Elected Officials. Building relationships with your elected officials and continuing to grow those relationships is vital to your success as an advocate.

Staff. Equally important is developing a relationship with legislative staff, at the Capitol and in their local district offices. With term limits, many staff members will be around long after the legislators’ terms expire.

Cultivating Champions. By building your relationships, you cultivate elected champions for our issues and become a trusted source of information for them.

Why Legislators listen to you

You are their constituent. 

You provide good, reliable information. They are not the experts in this area - you are. You are a trusted source, based on your professional background, community status or personal knowledge.

The following guide contains valuable information on how a citizen of California can take part in the legislative process, including: 

      • Establishing a relationship with a legislator's office staff

      • Proposing solutions to problems

      • Know the opposing side of an issue

      • Be willing to negotiate

      • Writing letters to legislators

      • Visiting legislators

      • Committee Hearings 

      • and much more

 Download the guide here.

Funcionarios Electos: construyendo relaciones para advocacy efectivo

Construir y mantener relaciones con funcionarios electos es vital para tu éxito como defensor de causas. Esto también aplica al personal legislativo en el Capitolio y en las oficinas locales, ya que muchos permanecen incluso después de que los legisladores cambian.

Al cultivar estas relaciones, creas aliados para tus causas y te conviertes en una fuente confiable de información para ellos.

¿Por qué te escuchan los legisladores?

  • Eres su elector(a).
  • Les ofreces información confiable. Ellos no son expertos en todo, y tú, por tu experiencia profesional, conocimiento personal o posición en la comunidad, puedes ser una fuente valiosa.

Esta guía te brinda información valiosa sobre cómo participar en el proceso legislativo en California, incluyendo:

  • Cómo establecer una relación con el personal de un legislador.
  • Proponer soluciones a problemas.
  • Conocer la perspectiva contraria.
  • Estar dispuesto a negociar.
  • Escribir cartas a los legisladores.
  • Visitar a los legisladores.
  • Participar en audiencias de comité.
  • ¡Y mucho más!

escarga la guía aquí.

Don’ts

Candidates

  • Do not campaign for or against any candidate using your EveryChild California, ECE Voices title. These restrictions apply to candidates running for school boards, city councils, and other nonpartisan offices. 
  • Do not use your EveryChild California, ECE Voices network title to endorse a candidate, even just for identification purposes, in any print, electronic or website candidate literature, or interview or letter to the editor.
  • Do not invite just one candidate to speak. If you invite candidates to speak, invite all other candidates. This avoids the reality or appearance of bias or support for an individual candidate.

Do’s

Ballot initiatives and legislation

  • Do advocate for or against legislation, ballot initiatives, and bonds.

Please click here for a visual of the rules. 

Neo Law Group: Advocacy - Public Charities Article, Click here.

Lo que NO debes hacer: Candidatos

  • No hagas campaña a favor o en contra de ningún candidato utilizando tu título de EveryChild California, ECE Voices. Estas restricciones se aplican a los candidatos que se postulan para juntas escolares, concejos municipales y otros cargos no partidistas.
  • No uses tu título de EveryChild California, ECE Voices para avalar a un candidato, ni siquiera a modo de identificación, en ningún material impreso, electrónico o en sitios web de candidatos, en entrevistas o cartas al editor.
  • No invites sólo a un candidato a hablar. Si invitas a candidatos a hablar, invita a todos los demás candidatos. Esto evita la realidad o la apariencia de parcialidad o apoyo a un candidato individual.

Lo que Sí puedes hacer: Iniciativas de ley y legislación

  • Defiende a favor o en contra de leyes, iniciativas de ley y bonos.
Making Your Voice Heard in the State California Legislature
Find your elected officials and their contact information by clicking here.

This guide by Rob Bonta covers topics such as how to read a bill and how to effectively communicate with legislators including: 

  • Sample letter guidelines
  • How to prepare for an in-person meeting with a legislator
  • How to testify at a hearing to show support or opposition for a bill
  • How to keep up with legislation
  • How to read an Assembly bill

Email

  • Emailing your elected officials is a quick and easy way to voice your concerns about an issue in your community. 

  • The email address for your State Senator or Assembly member is: assemblymember.lastname@assembly.ca.gov or senator.lastname@senate.ca.gov

Phone

Call your elected representative’s district or Capitol office and request to speak with the legislator or an aide who works on children’s issues. Be prepared to:

  • State your name and identify your facility or organization.
  • Tell them you are a constituent living in their district.
  • Identify the bill number or the issue, and explain your position on the issue.
  • Ask how the legislator expects to vote. 
  • Ask if the legislator would like any information from you on the bill or issue.
  • Urge the legislator to vote for your position.
  • Thank the legislator or aid for their time on the call.

Llama a tu representante electo

Llama a la oficina del distrito o del Capitolio de tu representante electo y solicita hablar con él o con un asistente que trabaje en temas relacionados con la infancia. Prepárate para:

  • Presentarte e indicar el nombre de tu institución u organización.
  • Aclarar que eres un(a) residente de su distrito.
  • Mencionar el número de la ley o el tema en cuestión, y explicar tu posición al respecto.
  • Preguntar cómo espera votar el legislador.
  • Consultar si el legislador desea recibir más información de tu parte sobre la ley o el tema.
  • Exhortar al legislador a votar a favor de tu posición.
  • Agradecer al legislador o asistente por su tiempo.

Algunos consejos adicionales:

  • Sé cortés y respetuoso, incluso si no estás de acuerdo con el legislador.
  • Sé breve y directo al punto.
  • Ten tus argumentos preparados con claridad y datos para respaldarlos.
  • Toma nota del nombre del asistente con quien hablas y la fecha de la llamada.
  • Puedes seguir tu llamada con un correo electrónico de seguimiento reiterando tus puntos clave.

Write a Letter 

Current and past legislation can be found here. Under Bill Information type in the bill number starting with AB or SB to locate information about the bill, including when it was introduced, amendments, committee location, and hearing dates.

To access the legislation that EveryChild California follows, click here for the most up-to-date Legislative Grid.

Use our News and Alerts page to stay up to date on the current information affecting the ECE field. 

Request to meet with your representative. Don't know who they are? Click here to find out.

How to start:

  • Call or email your elected representative, requesting to meet. For visiting a state representative, log on to your legislator’s website. On their “Contact Me” pages, some legislators specify how they prefer to receive appointment requests. 
  • Constituent. Tell them you are a constituent
  • Reason. Include the reason for your visit, including any specific issue or legislation
  • Date/Time. Suggest specific dates and times. 
  • Contact. Send your request to the attention of the Scheduler or Secretary. 
  • Confirm. Call or email scheduler to confirm the appointment before the date.

Where to meet:

  • At their offices
    • You can request to visit a state legislator at their Sacramento Capitol office or near you, in their district office. 
    • When visiting the district office, ask to meet with the District Director.
  • At your facility
    • Consider inviting the elected representative and their staff to visit your facility. These meetings are especially meaningful because your representatives gets to see what you do first-hand and can see what your needs are. 

Prepare for your meeting:

  • Know your representative
    • Research the representative to know their interests and priorities, so you can tailor your message to the things that are important to them.
    • Study their website and sign up for email newsletters
    • ECE connections. Is the legislator a member of a key committee for ECE issues? Is the legislator a current or past sponsor of EveryChild CA bills?
  • Talking points. Prepare your talking points. Avoid jargon or acronyms. 
  • Group tips. If you are going as a group, decide who will cover which points. Select a lead, someone who will keep the group on point and watch the time. 
  • How many. Decide who will attend the meeting. Bringing more than four or five people can be hard to manage. Try to bring people representing different ECE concerns groups.

During the meeting:

  • Be prompt and patient. Elected officials run on very tight schedules. It’s best to show up 10 to 15 minutes early. Be ready to be patient. It is not uncommon for them to be late or to have your meeting interrupted with other business.
  • Bring to the meeting Bring your business card and information about your program (how many children you serve, what you do, etc.). Give them a hard copy of information on your issues, such as a bill summary, data supporting your ask, letters of support. It's good to use brightly colored paper because they receive so much information from multiple people and groups, it's good to stand out.
  • Delivering your message Make eye contact with the representative and their staff. Be warm and friendly, smiling often. Stay calm and collected. Speak slowly and clearly so the representative can hear you. Don’t rush. It’s good to take pauses.
  • Introductions At the beginning of the meeting, introduce everyone briefly, with name, title and facility. Thank the representative or staffer for meeting with you.
  • Talking about your issue
    • Assume your representative or staff knows nothing about the issue. Discuss things in an easy to understand manner. Avoid using abbreviations or jargon.
    • Cover the most important topics first. 
    • Relate your issue to the legislator’s interests and priorities.
  • Tell a story. Put a human face on the issue, by telling a story or bringing a parent with you.
  • Stay on Track. Your legislator may want to engage in small talk. Politely steer the conversation back to the main issues. 
  • I Don’t Know Saying “I don’t know” if you do not know the answer to a question is much better than providing information that may be wrong. It’s fine to tell your legislator you will get that information for them later. This is extremely important, because you want to be trustworthy.
  • Your Ask. Be very clear what you would like your legislator to do.
  • Questions Allow time for your legislator and staff to ask questions.
  • Close the meeting by thanking your legislator and their staff for their time. Affirm you will get back to them with any promised information. Ask where to send that information.

After the meeting

  • Compare notes. Right after the meeting, compare notes with everyone in your group to agree on what the representative committed to do and the follow up information you agreed to send.
  • Thank you note. Within one to two days of the visit, send a thank you letter or thank you email. State the main issues discussed and your ask. Forward any additional information you promised to supply. 
  • Stay in touch. Try to keep in regular contact with your legislator. Follow them on social media, share news, your upcoming events, and attend their local events.

Good luck and have fun!

There are a multiude of ways to advocate for policy and budget issues. EveryChild California's ECE Voices will help you determine the best method to use for the issues that are important to your regions. The following is a listing of different ways to advocate, for more information ask your ECE Voices Lead Advocate or reach out to EveryChild California at advocacy@everychildca.org. As a Community Advocate you can ask to cover these topics in more depth at the regional meetings. 

We want to thank PVCA, a fund of Tides Foundation, for their support.