Legislative Advocacy


How You Can Become a Successful Lobbyist
Find all you need – tip sheets, rosters, terminology

The California Legislature may seem daunting, but armed with a simple understanding of the legislative process, you can become an effective lobbyist almost overnight. The resources on this page provide the basic information you need to succeed in personal visits and letter writing.

Each year, the CFT sponsors several bills. Ideas for legislation may come from a number of sources, but typically members communicate their ideas through CFT governance meetings and resolutions at Convention and State Council. Once the CFT adopts a sponsored bill program, staff lobbyists work to secure legislators who will author the bills, and see the bills through the legislative process and onto the governor’s desk.

But legislators need to hear from you too! It’s important for legislators to hear about your first-hand experiences at work. Your testimony may be key to a bill’s success. We also encourage you to meet with legislators in their district offices, and during union-sponsored Lobby Days at the State Capitol.


How to Lobby Successfully In Person

Use these helpful resources prepared by the CFT Legislative Department. 

Tip Sheet How to have successful personal visits with your elected officials

Tip Sheet More tips for in-district and local visits with legislators

Letter Writing Tips

Tip Sheet How to write effective (and proper) letters to your legislators.

Quick Guide Rosters 

Get the information — fast — from these quick guides prepared by the California Legislature. The rosters provide key info for state legislators – office phone numbers and addresses (both Capitol and in-district) and contact links.

Assembly Roster Get to know California’s 80 assemblymembers.

Senate Roster Get to know California’s 40 senators.

Legislative Calendar

Legislative Calendar and Deadlines prepared by the California Assembly. 

Citizen’s Guide to the Legislative Process

The Legislative Process, A Citizen’s Guide to Participation is prepared by the California Senate. Learn how legislative bills get named, how to decode bill prefixes, how the committees of the Legislature work, and so much more.

Legislative Terminology – The Definitive Guide

Glossary of Legislative Terminology is an online resource from the California Legislature.


Make Your Voice Heard!

From the State Capitol to the White House…all the links you need. 

Contact your California Legislators

California Assembly An overview of the state Assembly with daily updates and hearing schedules. 

California Senate An overview of the state Senate with daily updates and hearing schedules.

California Legislative Information The go-to site for finding the language of a bill, amendments, and where bill is in the legislative process. The site also contains the California Codes, including the Education Code.

Legislative Analyst’s Office Find reports from the Legislative Analyst’s Office that provides fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature.

Contact the Governor

Gov. Gavin Newsom The governor’s home page, including news and media releases.

Contact your U.S. Congressional Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives Find your representative by entering your zip code in the upper right corner of the home page.

U.S. Senate Overview of the Senate with news, live stream of the U.S. Capitol, and a virtual reference desk. Find direct links to California senators below.

Contact the U.S. President

The White House Learn how to phone, email or submit online comments to the White House under Contact.


Legislative Scorecards
How do legislators vote on bills that matter to union members?

In each legislative session, the CFT and the California Labor Federation – the statewide AFL-CIO – tally how legislators vote on bills of import to union members. In these reports, you will find a description of key bills lobbied for and against, and a scorecard for all Senate and Assembly members on each bill. Learn how your elected officials are voting.

CFT Legislative Scorecard 2019
Some legislators are such strong advocates on issues of import to CFT members that they earn a “perfect” voting record from the CFT.

California Labor Federation Legislative Scorecard 2019
Similarly, legislators may earn a 100 percent voting record from the California Labor Federation, whose scorecard provides an overview of labor-related legislation affecting more than 1,200 affiliated locals representing 2.1 million union members. Learn more here.