Local Organizing

California July Recess Toolkit

With the federal government focused on using its power to launch attacks on marginalized communities and undermine our progressive values, it’s up to our states to both push back against these assaults and continue to move the needle to the left and set an example for other states and the nation. No state is consistently a better model than California, a state that by itself has the 5th largest economy in the world and is home to 12% of the population of the United States.

As a constituent of California, you can help advocate for progressive policies in your home state this year! Here’s how:

  1. Learn about some of California’s big legislative priorities this year.
  2. Set up an in-district office visit with your state legislators during July recess.

California’s 2018 legislative priorities

There are hundreds of bills moving in the California state legislature. Check out our resources below about some of the bills that Indivisibles in California have noted as their top priority.

Setting up an In-District Office Visit During Recess

All of the bills that have passed their policy committees in the chamber in which they originated will hit the floor of the second chamber of the legislature in August if they pass their respective Appropriations Committees. That means your state Senators and Assembly members will likely be voting on all of these bills next month! If your member happens to be on the Appropriations Committee, they deserve extra attention and pressure.

The legislature is on recess through August 5th, which means that your state legislators will be home in your district. What better time to meet with them to advocate for these important pieces of legislation?

Here’s how you can set up an in-district meeting.

  1. Look up your state legislators here: https://www.castatestrong.org
  2. Call their in-district office and ask for an appointment sometime during the month of July. Some legislators may be traveling for some portion of that recess, so be flexible. When you call, say that you and your Indivisible group would like to talk about bills you would like your representative to support.
  3. Once you have a meeting time, register it on our map!
  4. Recruit members from your group to attend the meeting.
  5. Before the meeting: Make an agenda before you go to your meeting.
    1. Be prepared with knowledge about the bills you want to discuss and the impact of these different bills on own community.
    2. Prepare stories about how these policies would affect you and others in your community.
    3. Assign a member of your group to prepare and address each talking point or story. Also assign a timekeeper and a notetaker.
    4. Prepare a brief one- or two-page summary memo to leave behind. If this is your first meeting, include notes on who you are, what you do, and why the topics you discussed in the meeting are important to you.
  6. At the meeting: Be persistent and convey your message!
    1. Share your talking points. Have a few people address topics, rather than one or two group leaders.
    2. Don’t settle for non-answers. If you are not getting responses be firm but polite. Remember: your goal is to talk about the issue and share your concerns.
    3. Take notes. Don’t expect your representative or their staff to do this.
    4. Leave behind your prepared summary. Your representative will have a record of how prepared you were!
    5. Document your meeting with video or pictures. Record it or it didn’t happen. Get a picture of your group at the office. Even better yet, get a video of your group before, during, and/or after. Bottom line, your voice will be louder and better heard if you get documented evidence.
  7. After the meeting: Follow up!
    1. Post your takeaways from the meeting on social media. Use the hashtag #IndivisibleCA and send us photos to california@indivisible.org.
    2. Follow up in the next couple of meetings and reiterate your points and see if there is any progress.