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Advocacy Basics for California Nonprofits
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Advocacy Basics for California Nonprofits

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Kris Lev-Twombly's presentation for "Trees in All Policies" workshop for California ReLeaf Network members

Kris Lev-Twombly's presentation for "Trees in All Policies" workshop for California ReLeaf Network members

Published in: Education

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  • 1. www.calnonprofits.org Achieving and Measuring Success in Legislative Advocacy
  • 2. www.calnonprofits.org Five Main Points • Legislative advocacy is important to our work.
  • 3. www.calnonprofits.org Five Main Points • Legislative advocacy is important to our work. • Service organizations can advocate and can make a HUGE difference.
  • 4. www.calnonprofits.org Five Main Points • Legislative advocacy is important to our work. • Service organizations can advocate and can make a HUGE difference. • Legislative advocacy is multi-layered, and there is something for everyone.
  • 5. www.calnonprofits.org Five Main Points • Legislative advocacy is important to our work. • Service organizations can advocate and can make a HUGE difference. • Legislative advocacy is multi-layered, and there is something for everyone. • Legislative advocacy is both simple and complex. There are resources and tools to help simplify what is complex.
  • 6. www.calnonprofits.org Five Main Points • Legislative advocacy is important to our work. • Service organizations can advocate and can make a HUGE difference. • Legislative advocacy is multi-layered, and there is something for everyone. • Legislative advocacy is both simple and complex. There are resources and tools to help simplify what is complex. • Winning can take awhile. You can track, measure and convey incremental success through a variety of indicators.
  • 7. www.calnonprofits.org Advocacy is important to our work. State policy shapes, supports, impedes and generally affects every aspect of the work of nonprofits– particularly service nonprofits.
  • 8. www.calnonprofits.org Service organizations can make a HUGE difference in advocacy Advocacy isn’t just for advocacy organizations. In fact, advocacy organizations need service organizations to round out effective advocacy. Coalitions built from both advocacy and service organizations are the most effective.
  • 9. www.calnonprofits.org Something for Everyone • Letters/emails/calls to district Assembly Members, Senators • Sign on to coalition position letters • Submit position letters to committees, etc. • Voice support in hearings • Testify in hearings • Meet with legislators and their staff in districts. • Meet with legislators and staff at the Capitol • Sponsor legislation • Conduct research and/or supply data to support advocacy • Attend “lobby days”
  • 10. www.calnonprofits.org It’s simple… 1st House 2nd House Policy Committee Policy Committee Fiscal Committee Fiscal Committee Floor Vote Floor Vote   LAW BILL
  • 11. www.calnonprofits.org …yet complex!
  • 12. www.calnonprofits.org Tools and resources to simplify leginfo.legislature.ca.gov Here you’ll find: Bill information Hearing dates Bill votes California Law
  • 13. www.calnonprofits.org Tools and resources to simplify cal-access.sos.ca.gov/lobbying/
  • 14. www.calnonprofits.org Tools and resources to simplify senate.ca.gov assembly.ca.gov
  • 15. www.calnonprofits.org General tips to simplify • Work in policy coalitions • Develop relationships with your legislators and their staff • Engage your board in advocacy • Contract with a policy consultant • Identify your best roles and grow from there
  • 16. www.calnonprofits.org Elements of successful advocacy campaigns • Research/data/expertise- A strong case • Knowledge of the legislative process • Understanding of how to access and influence policymakers • Ability to influence other advocates and media, and demonstrate public support • Targeted approach to getting votes • Diligence • Tenacity
  • 17. www.calnonprofits.org It takes awhile. Indicators of incremental success PRIMARY • Policy win (bill becomes law; defeat of bad bill) • Changes in progress of legislation • Shifts in trends of voting by legislators on specific issues • Changes in communications by legislators and the Governor about specific issues
  • 18. www.calnonprofits.org It takes awhile. Indicators of incremental success SECONDARY •Growth and increased diversity of coalition •Incorporation of “lessons learned” in strategy •Increased favorable media coverage •Increased grassroots engagement
  • 19. www.calnonprofits.org It takes awhile. ACTIVITIES PRIMARY SUCCESS SECONDARY SUCCESS LESSONS YEAR 1: Sponsored legislation; conducted research; testified at hearings Bill passed policy and fiscal committees but died on floor of first house (past legislation died in first committee) Established ad hoc coalition Did not get support of enough legislators. Need more constituents and media to influence more legislators. YEAR 2: Sponsored legislation; conducted research; testified at hearings; shopped 4 op eds; hosted lobby day; built list serve; did action alerts Bill passed first house; died on floor of second house; 10 legislators signed on as co- authors; Latino Caucus endorse bill Coalition grew to include 50 service organizations and 7 advocacy orgs; 2 op eds were placed; received 20 media hits; engaged over 200 orgs and individuals in advocacy Failed to get support of full Tri- Caucus to offset loss of moderate votes. League of Cities and CSAC still opposed the bill. YEAR 3: Same as above; Targeted multi-language media; amended bill; hosted Leg briefing Bill passed and signed. VICTORY! Coalition grew to 65/12 and expanded in diversity and geography; 4 op eds; 27 media hits; 1,500 letters; Converted opposition to supporters; generated enough Caucus support to offset moderate votes
  • 20. www.calnonprofits.org QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS? Kris Lev-Twombly, director of public policy krisl@calnonprofits.org 916.207.2037 http://www.calnonprofits.org