How to Advocate From Home While Access to Capitol, Legislators Limited

March 16, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the LMC Legislative Conference is canceled, and many legislators are limiting meetings with constituents.

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, there will be limited legislative activity, and public access to Capitol facilities until at least April 14. However, there are still plenty of ways to advocate for your city without meeting face to face.

Legislative leadership announced on March 15 that there will be no floor sessions or committee hearings, and meetings with members of the public, including constituents, will be highly limited. Furthermore, the Legislature will only come back in on an on-call basis to pass legislation related to the coronavirus.

Advocate from home

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertain status of the legislative agenda, the League has canceled this year’s Legislative Conference. The Legislative Conference typically serves as an in-person opportunity to receive updates about the legislative session, the status of bills affecting cities, hear from state leaders, and meet with legislators to advocate on city issues.

Despite the cancellation of the Legislative Conference, there are still several ways to advocate from home. The League provides ample resources to stay informed on legislation and encourages members to contact legislators about bills and the issues affecting their city.

The League offers several resources to keep you updated on city issues and legislation. The League’s Intergovernmental Relations team (IGR) will continue to give updates and analysis on legislative issues through the League’s Cities Bulletin and the LMC website. IGR will also continue to alert members on legislation through action alerts, Twitter, and targeted outreach. Additionally, you can access issue-specific fact sheets and toolkits to help communicate city issues to legislators.

Pass a resolution!

The League has been collecting resolutions from cities across the state in support of transportation and infrastructure accountability fee authority. Cities that pass and submit these resolutions are encouraged to share them with their legislators to communicate the need for these tools.

Be sure to send a copy to your legislators and copy League staff member Ted Bengtson at tbengtson@lmc.org.

Not sure who represents you? You can find your legislators and their contact information on the Legislature’s website. You can typically contact your state Representatives and Senators through phone or e-mail, which you can locate on their member pages. You can find their contact information, links to their bio, bills they have authored, and their newsletter updates. You can use these tools to give your direct input on legislation affecting your city.

Coming to the Capitol?

As it currently stands, the Legislature has canceled all committee hearings and is not expected to be present at the Capitol until April 14. If you are planning to come to the Capitol for any legislative business be sure to check with your legislators before departing.

City officials that are visiting the Capitol, are still welcome to park at the League. However, to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, they DO NOT need to come into the League building or sign in at the front desk. They can head straight to the Capitol.

For further information you can access the League’s How to Advocate Page. And as always, the League’s IGR team will be present at the Capitol and is happy to answer any questions, update you on any legislative issues, or assist you in contacting and communicating with your legislators.

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