Lobbying Tips


Lobbying Tips
Everything you need to become a successful member lobbyist

Each year, the CFT sponsors several legislative bills. Ideas for legislation may come from a number of sources, but typically members communicate their issues through CFT governance meetings and resolutions passed by 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.

Legislators need to hear from you! It’s important for them to hear about your first-hand experiences at work. Your testimony may be key to a bill’s success. The resources here provide the information you need to succeed in personal visits with your legislators and letter writing.

How to Lobby Successfully at the Capitol and at 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 your legislators 

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

Know the Legislative Calendar

Legislative Calendar and Deadlines prepared by the California Assembly. 

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.

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 (simply 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.


CFT and Labor Federation 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 scorecards, you will find a description of key bills lobbied for and against, and a score for Senate and Assembly members on each bill. Find out if your elected officials are voting union!

CFT Scorecards

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

Scorecard 2020
Scorecard 2019

California Labor Federation Scorecards

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. 

Scorecard 2021
Scorecard 2020
Scorecard 2019