Our members rank advocacy as the number one priority for the association. Each year, the LeadingAge California public policy team tracks and advocates on more than 150 pieces of legislation on behalf of members.
LeadingAge California engages members on grassroots advocacy campaigns on specific bills regarding LTSS funding, affordable housing, and workforce through our Action Center. We continue to expand our grassroots advocacy network to strengthen our ability to target specific state and federal representatives. Become an advocate for California’s older adults today.
Find Your Legislator
Use our tool to locate your state representatives.
Advocacy Do's and Don'ts
When scheduling a visit with a member of the California Legislature, there are some important reminders.
Do: Schedule an appointment well in advance of the proposed time by contacting the legislator’s scheduler or LeadingAge California Policy Communications Coordinator Ryan Van Brummelen for assistance.
Don’t: Refuse to meet with staff if the legislator is unavailable. Members rely on their staff for policy recommendations. These recommendations are based on the pros, cons, proponents, opponents, and impact of a given bill, which your meeting can influence.
Do: Learn as much as possible about the member including but not limited to their committee assignments, voting history, and specialties prior to meeting.
Don’t: Make assumptions about what the member already knows about your issue area. Be prepared to provide a brief background of the issue facing your industry. LeadingAge can provide talking points prior to your meeting.
Do: Convey that you are a constituent and/or you operate within their district. Share need-to-know information regarding your property, community, or business. Provide your legislator or staff with resources (photos, links to website, etc.) for them to get a better idea of who you are and what you do.
Don’t: Discuss campaign contributions with your Legislator or members of their staff. Limit conversation to policy related issues and their impact on your residents or business.
Do: Provide brief explanation of the issue and the desired outcome (introducing or cosponsoring a bill, signing a letter, voting for an amendment, etc.). Relate the issue back to the member’s district. Replace industry terminology with layman’s terms where possible.
Don’t: Try to address all issues facing your industry. Meetings with legislators and their staff typically last 30 minutes. Maintain focus on two or three major points of interest.
Do: Use data or cases to support your case. Be clear and concise.
Don’t: Overstate your issue by rambling during the meeting. This will limit your time to hear from the member.
Do: Send a thank-you letter for the member or staff’s time.
Don’t: Hesitate to reach out to a member of their staff with future questions. Once you determine who handles the policy area that impacts you in their office, email that point person moving forward instead of a general inbox.
10 Tips for a Successful Legislative Visit
Take Action Now!
Help advance housing, care and services for older adults by keeping up to date on any Legislative Alerts at LeadingAge California’s Action Center.
Take Action at LeadingAge California Policy Events
RISE Policy Summit
LeadingAge California's RISE Policy Summit is the premier statewide event focused on bringing meaningful public policy issues to elected and appointed officials. With unprecedented challenges facing the field, education and advocacy are more critical than ever to ensure awareness of pivotal changes and to amplify the nonprofit voice at the Capitol. This summit provides you the opportunity to educate yourself on evolving public policy and regulatory changes and directly advocate to the California Legislature.
Senior Housing Now
For the last decade, LeadingAge California has organized an annual Affordable Senior Housing Resident Advocacy Day (ASHRAD) that offers residents of affordable senior housing an opportunity to travel to the Capitol and share how affordable housing has impacted their lives with California Legislators. The event has grown significantly over the years and become very popular for our members and the seniors they serve across the state. Due to COVID-19 and associated health risks, ASHRAD will take shape as a postcard campaign in 2022.