Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about CAI-CLAC, what we do and how you can get involved.

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What is CLAC?
The California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) is a committee of Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national not-for-profit educational and resource organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious community associations. CLAC consists of homeowners and professionals serving community associations.  CAI is the largest organization in America dedicated to the monitoring of legislation, educating elected state lawmakers and protecting the interests of those living in community associations.
No.  CLAC is NOT a PAC (Political Action Committee) and does not give money to legislators or their campaigns.  CLAC operates solely from contributions of California members of CAI and other donations. Donations are for LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY, NOT POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS.  CLAC expenses include printing and mailing information to CAI members and CLAC contributors, lobbyist fees and administrative services; providing legislative information to the CLAC volunteers and more.
What does CLAC do?
CLAC is dedicated to monitoring and influencing legislation that affects community associations in California. CLAC is pro-active in introducing and advocating for legislation that is beneficial to CIDs and is active in opposing legislation that may have an adverse impact on CIDs. CLAC serves the interests of approximately 9,000,000 people who live in and work with CIDs in the State of California. CLAC communicates with legislators and other elected and appointed officials, and CLAC members educate government officials about CID concerns through letters, phone calls and personal visits. CLAC meets regularly with lawmakers to help advance issues. CLAC educates and visits with lawmakers, legislative and executive staff, and other organizations, and testifies before legislative bodies.
What is Legislative Day?
Once a year CLAC organizes a day in the capital where you can go and meet with your local legislator in their Sacramento office. During this time we get to know legislators; inform them of issues affecting CIDs; and ensure that the voice of community associations is heard.
How does CLAC select legislation it advocates on?
CLAC is dedicated to monitoring and influencing legislation that affects common interest developments in California. CLAC researches and reviews proposed legislation and takes positions on bills affecting CIDs. CLAC reviews and tracks bills related to CIDs in California throughout the year. Moreover, Senate and Assembly committees ask our advocate (lobbyist) for input as housing legislation is proposed and debated, and the Governor’s Office often contacts CLAC to ask its position on a bill prior to the Governor signing the bill.
How can I be notified of CLAC's grassroots efforts?

CLAC organizes “grass-roots” letters, emails and phone communications with legislators regarding important CID-related issues and proposed laws.  You can sign up on the CLAC website to receive these communications.

How can I get information on pending legislation?

On the CLAC website, you can sign up for CLAC’s blog or CLAC Trac and review the Hot Bills Blog. CLAC’s blog articles and CLAC Trac provide additional information regarding the Hot Bills that are being monitored by CLAC and that will have a significant impact on community associations if passed.

How do I find out who my local legislator is?
Visit Contact-Your-Legislator on the CLAC website and search by your home address.
I want to visit my local legislator, what do I need to take and do?

There may be times when our advocate asks you to make visits to your Legislator’s local district office.  Meeting with your Legislator, or one of their staffers, in their district office helps to reinforce CAI-CLAC’s message.  So that you have a successful meeting, here are a few suggestions:

a.  Confirm the day before, not just the appointment, but with whom you will be meeting. Legislators’ schedules are constantly changing, and things may need to shift last-minute.

b.   Before the appointment, collect the items you would like to take with you. In an effort not to overwhelm the legislator or their staff member(s), plan on handing them the top five items. Be prepared with the other items as you see fit, so if they come up in conversation, you will have them available to show to the legislator and their staff. Don’t worry if you don’t have something with you for this meeting. It is an excellent excuse to return to their office at a later date, and begin building a relationship with the people in the office.

c.  Top 5 Items to Take: (1) Your Business Cards (one for each legislative staff member); (2) any current Legislative issues. Contact Louie Brown about a week in advance of your visit at to obtain the most current talking points. If there are no pressing legislative issues, you can still talk to your legislator about CAI and CLAC so we can be a future resource; (3) copy of the ADR and IDR procedures in Civil Code (many legislators pass legislation because their constituents say there is “no other recourse”; (4) Public Opinions Strategy Poll “Verdict” – let your legislator know community association residents are largely happy with their homeowners association; and (5) Upcoming Chapter Educational Luncheon/Event flyer or Chapter Calendar.

d.  Once you have your items compiled, make sure you have enough handouts to give the legislator and one or two of their staff, as well as the people attending the meeting with you, including yourself. While you don’t want to be reading off a piece of paper to present CLAC’s mission and/or position on a particular issue, you should have a resource on your topic(s) in front of you to help guide the conversation.

e.  Before the appointment, have a meeting or conference call with the other people involved in the meeting, and decide who will be the “point person.” It is often easier for the legislator to follow if they have one main person to listen to, with “color” (examples and small, short add-ins) added by the other attendees. If there is a person who has already begun a relationship with the legislator or staff, they would be the ideal person to take “point.”

How can I support CLAC?

CLAC operates solely from contributions of California members of CAI and other donations. Thus, you can make a donation. In addition, you can volunteer your time and participate in the various events hosted by CLAC. Signup and support our grass roots efforts. CLAC organizes “grass-roots” efforts to communicate en masse with legislators over topics that are particularly important to community associations.

Support CLAC through the Buck-a-Door program.  Every dollar helps and donations can be made online at our website or be sent to 1809 S Street, Suite 101-245, Sacramento, CA 98511 with checks written to CAI-CLAC.  Your efforts and monetary contributions are very much appreciated and your HOA members will feel involved, enabled and informed

How can I serve on CLAC?
Each CAI chapter can appoint two (2) delegates and a chapter liaison to serve on CLAC. If you are interested on serving on CLAC, speak to your chapter’s Executive Director and they will let you know if there are any positions currently open and how to serve for your chapter. In addition, most chapters have local Legislative Support Committees which you can join.
How can I get involved?

In addition to making a donation and your community making a donation, you may consider joining one of the various committees.

a.  Legislative Strategy & Research Committee:  The Legislative Strategy & Research Committee (LSRC) has been created to support the legislative agenda of CLAC through forward planning, development of strategy, and research. The LSRC plays a lead role in supporting CLAC’s legislative agenda by soliciting, tracking and evaluating ideas from CAI supporters in California. The LSRC will also handle research projects as needed in order to support CLAC’s more ambitious long-term goals. As supporters of CLAC, your input, suggestions, and ideas for legislation are vital to the success of the LSRC. Please email any questions, comments, suggestions and/or ideas to or complete the “There Ought to be a Law” suggestion form.

b.  Public Relations Committee:  This committee is responsible for increasing public awareness of CLAC through use of social and traditional media, and for mobilizing grass roots emergency responses to pending legislation. They also help to plan and organize our annual Legislative Day at the Capitol. If you are interested in participating in this committee, please contact our PR Chair at

c.  Topic Subcommittees:  Topic Subcommittees have been established to take a leadership role in analyzing legislation assigned to them by the Legislative Advocate, recommending amendments and a position on each assigned legislation, and staying in close communication with the Legislative Advocate.  The various topics include Assessments & Foreclosures; Board Rights & Responsibilities; Builder, Developer, Contractor; CA Law Revision Commission; Dispute Resolution; Environment & Conservation; Management; and Governing Documents.

d.  Ad Hoc Committees:  New committees are formed as needed to participate in discussions regarding new bills that affect community associations in California.

How does CLAC benefit me or my Association directly?
CLAC’s mission is to safeguard and improve the community association lifestyle and property values by advocating a reasonable balance between state statutory requirements and the ability and authority of individual homeowners to govern themselves through their community associations. The legislation we monitor, support, or oppose has a direct impact on the community associations you live in, work with or manage.
Where does my donation go?
CLAC is NOT a PAC (Political Action Committee) and does not give money to legislators or their campaigns. CLAC operates solely from contributions made by California members of CAI and other donations. Donations are for LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY, NOT POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. CLAC expenses include printing and mailing information to CAI members and CLAC contributors, lobbyist fees and administrative services; providing legislative information to the CLAC volunteers and more.
Does my chapter get credit when I donate to CLAC?
When you make your contribution let us know which CAI chapter you are donating to, and that chapter will receive credit for your contribution.

Contact Us

Administrator Coordinator

Wendy Van Messel, CMCA
1809 S Street, Suite 101-245
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone: 916-791-4750 | Toll Free: 888-909-7403
Fax: 916-550-9488 | E-mail:

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