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Insider Article [February 2014] [02/04/14] (Spotlight: Advocacy and Legislation Committee)
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Spotlight: Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Have you ever wondered what the CLA Advocacy and Legislation Committee is all about?  Well wonder no more!

The Committee is comprised of approximately 20 members who are passionate about libraries of all types, and who want to ensure that libraries grow and thrive.  As such, we advocate for state funding and legislation that supports and protects our noble mission as society’s great equalizer.

Committee members are from all around the state.  We represent county libraries, city libraries, law libraries, adult literacy programs, and school libraries.  We are joined by professional lobbyists, Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro, who work tirelessly to represent our interests, and whose tenacity and drive has meant the success of numerous pieces of legislation that have helped keep California libraries strong.

I got involved with the Committee because of my interest in adult literacy.  I wanted to do everything in my power to help our legislators understand the importance of literacy programs.  How just a little bit of money and attention can exponentially change a life, a family, and a community.  The rewards I’ve reaped from being on the Committee have been extraordinary.  I have seen first-hand the power of advocacy.  Our letter writing campaigns made a difference, renewing my faith and pride in our democratic process.  So I encourage anyone who is interested in protecting libraries and seeing our democratic process in action to consider serving on this Committee.

But even if being a committee member isn’t for you, you can still make a difference.  Please stay tuned to the updates from CLA Executive Director Rosario Garza and our lobbyists, Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro.  There will be “calls to action” throughout the year, and we can’t do this important work without each one of you! 

For instance, this year CLA’s legislative priorities are: 1) SCA 7-Wolk, which seeks to lower the vote threshold for local construction bonds and special taxes from the current two-thirds vote to 55%, and 2) a statewide broadband initiative which seeks to connect all public libraries to a high-speed broadband network.  We hope you will encourage your legislators to support these priorities by participating in Day in the District and by attending their town hall meetings and open houses.  Never underestimate your power to make a difference! 

Thank you so much for your support.  Now let’s go out there and Be The Change!

Laura Seahom
Chair 2013-2014