Late last month, close to 100 Catholics from throughout the state gathered in Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and gain perspective on several key bills that focused on “Our Children, Our Priority,” – the theme for this year’s Catholic Advocacy Day. They were joined by many others around the state who sent emails to their elected representatives.
A central element of Catholic Advocacy Day is communication back to Catholic Legislative Network members about how their elected representatives plan to vote on a certain issue.
The 2017 Catholic Advocacy Day reports are now available for you to assess where lawmakers stand on the bills discussed and other information relevant to the meeting.
While most meetings took place with legislative staff, several members stopped in to greet our advocates. (See related vignettes from the delegates.)
“This was the best visit I've ever had. We started out with Kathleen, the chief of staff, but Assemblyman Matt Dababneh came in after he finished testifying. He was very attentive and actually honestly seemed happy to see us. (So different than last year.) He even asked for a picture,” wrote one advocate.
Advocates also got much insight into Assemblymember Lackey’s position on immigration from a member of his staff, who explained that Asm. Lackey sees immigration as a broken system and favors comprehensive immigration reform. Coming from law enforcement, Asm. Lackey wants to change its negative image with his constituents.
Insights like these are invaluable information when it comes to understanding the perspective of each legislator and how they fit into Capitol dynamics. You can click here to gain a sense of which way many members may vote on each Advocacy Day bill.
Several staff members were unable to share positions on the seven Advocacy Day bills, which can be for several reasons. Many legislators will avoid giving a position on a bill that is not in their house yet and others may be waiting to see if the bill is amended before it gets to them or they may be withholding their vote as a bargaining chip. And there is always the possibility they have not had the time to study the bills in question.
While yet some staffers may be reluctant to give a position, reliable staffers will always convey the thoughts of a delegation or a visitor to their boss so that he or she is aware of their constituents' thoughts. There is never a wasted visit to discuss these bills.
Catholic Advocacy Day advocates plan to follow-up with several legislators, especially as these bills come closer to being up for vote.
Visit http://www.cacatholic.org for the most recent information on the status of these and other bills the CCC is monitoring.