Legislative Advocacy

Overview

How You Can Become a Successful Lobbyist
Find all you need – tips, terminology, and timing

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.

LOBBYING TIPS

How to Lobby Successfully In-Person and From Home

We encourage you to meet with legislators during our union-sponsored Lobby Days at the State Capitol and in their district offices. Learn the basic protocol quickly with these concise tip sheets prepared by the CFT Legislative Department. 

How to have successful in-person visits with your elected officials 

More tips for in-district and local visits with legislators 

How to write effective (and proper) letters to your legislators 

Know the Assembly, Senate & Session Calendar

California Assembly 
Find daily updates from the state Assembly, committee hearing schedules, and get to know California’s 80 assemblymembers,

California Senate
Find daily Senate updates, committee hearing schedules, and get to know California’s 40 senators.

Legislative Calendar and Deadlines prepared by the California Assembly. 

Making Sense of 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.

California Legislative Information
Use the go-to site (known as “leginfo”) for finding the language of a bill, amendments, and tracking a bill’s progress through the Legislature. This site also contains California government codes, including the Education Code.

Glossary of Legislative Terms 
Use this “definitive guide” to legislative terminology prepared by the California Legislature.

Legislative Analyst’s Office
Find reports from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (commonly referred to as the LAO) which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice to the state Legislature.

Post

Make Your Voice Heard!
Quick guide rosters & links to contact elected officials

Find the info and links you need to contact your elected representatives in the California Legislature and in the U.S. Congress — quickly.

From the State Capitol in Sacramento to the White House, it’s all here. Make your voice heard!

STATE LEGISLATURE

Contact your representatives — fast — by using 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.

GOVERNOR

Governor Gavin Newsom 

  • Email the governor directly from his contact page.
  • Find news, media releases, and the governor’s tweets on his home page.

U.S. CONGRESS

U.S. House of Representatives 

California has 53 elected congresspeople in the House of Representatives.

  • House Roster
    If you don’t know your representative, simply enter your zipcode in the upper right corner of the House home page.

U.S. Senate 

California elects two individuals to serve in the U.S. Senate. Using the links below, you can follow news about their Senate actions and contact them directly.

PRESIDENT

The White House 

Post

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 Assemblymembers on each bill. Are your elected officials voting union?

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.