Legislation and Advocacy Update
Your Legislation and Advocacy Committee has had a busy, and ultimately successful, year. Thanks go to the CLA lobbyists, Mike Dillon and Cristina DiCaro, and to all of you who visited your state legislator in his or her district offices, or called, faxed, or wrote letters to state legislators urging that funding for library resource-sharing and literacy programs be added to the state budget in FY 2012-13.
In January, when Governor Brown released his proposed budget, once again he proposed no funding for library programs as well as substantial cuts to funding for the State Library. Our lobbyists sprang into action to begin the process of getting some funding added by the state legislature. They met with members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees and their staffs, and with other key legislators. Committee members and others testified at meetings of the relevant budget subcommittees. And CLA sent alerts to members and other library supporters to start letter writing and calling.
The results? $4.7 million for library literacy programs and for the California Library Services Act. Although that is far from sufficient, it keeps those critical, statewide programs “on the books” so that we can work to increase them as the state budget improves. Furthermore, it retains California’s eligibility to receive $12 million of federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds.
You can help. Our goal is to have a CLA member be a legislative contact for every member of the Senate and Assembly. In addition to contacting the legislator about proposed legislation or budget actions, library contacts can also send the legislator and his or her staff information about local library services and programs, and invite the legislator to library events. Contact committee chair Jane Light at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Interesting in learning more about effective advocacy? Come to the committee’s program “Advocacy for Action” at the CLA conference and learn how to launch an action-oriented advocacy campaign in your community that mobilizes youth groups. CLA conference program times will be announced soon. I hope to see you there!
Jane Light, Chair
CLA Legislation and Advocacy Committee