Members of CAI-CLAC have all hopefully heard about “it” taking place every year for the past 22 years now. And, we’ve been broadcasting information about “it” at every CAI-CLAC and chapter event for the past few months. With just a few weeks left before “it” happens again, we thought we’d remind you one more time.
The “it” I’m referring to is, of course, none other than this year’s 23rd Annual CAI-California Legislative Action Committee’s Legislative Day at the Capitol (Leg-Day), which takes place this coming April 17th and 18th at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. For those of you who might not be familiar with that particular Hyatt property, it’s located in very convenient proximity to the State Capitol building (directly across from it) at 1209 “L” Street in downtown Sacramento.
Leg-Day is an event that includes providing CAI-CLAC members from across the state, the opportunity to attend education sessions that are geared towards better informing CAI members of the legislative issues of importance to all common interest communities. The opportunity is open to community association volunteer leaders, those CAI members involved in managing the literally thousands of California common interest communities, and business partners who are directly involved in providing services and products to the CID industry here in California. If you attend, you can take part in the “Meet the Delegates” portion of the event, where all the CAI stakeholders get a chance to interact with our CLAC delegates and liaisons, who themselves collectively work year-round with our lobbyist and the eight representative CAI California chapter Legislative Support Committees (LSC). And, of course, the primary reason for Leg-Day is to meet in-person with and educate our state legislators on legislation that is important to those who live in and work with Community Associations throughout the state of California.
If you’re a member of any one of the three membership groups that make up CAI, then you are one of those individuals who need to be among those attending this year’s Leg-Day. Whether you’re a CAVL (Community Association Volunteer Leader) or an association manager, or one of our valued business partners, there are a myriad of reasons for you to participate in this annual event. Several that stand out include the opportunity to attend educational sessions specifically geared towards providing, especially for first-time attendees, informative insight into how the “system” works when it comes to, for instance, how legislative bills originate and moved forward to either become adopted into law or not adopted into law at all.
There is also the opportunity to learn how to meet and interact with our individual elected state representatives, both Assembly members as well as Senators. And, there is the opportunity during those meetings, to actually effect how those representatives might eventually vote on issues we bring to their attention. Having participated in several annual Leg-Days myself, I can tell you that when our legislators see us walking into their individual offices, representing CAI-CLAC, informed and prepared to discuss those pending bills, it sends an undeniably-powerful message to those legislators that we are involved, committed, and willing to communicate as one well-informed voice.
Those bills will have either a positive or negative impact on the quality-of-life for those of us who advocate on behalf of the almost 13 million residents of over 50,000 common interest communities statewide. Legislators want to hear our opinion and they will listen. It doesn’t mean legislation always goes our way, but if we don’t give our opinion we lose a tremendous opportunity to effect the legislative process. By the way, no matter who the legislator may be, their constituents are likely composed of a considerable number of residents CAI-CLAC represents through our advocacy efforts.
As part of the Leg-Day educational efforts each year, we are privileged to have only the most qualified presenters delivering the programs for us. And, this year is no exception. For our Sunday morning session, we will be treated to “How A Bill Becomes Law”, which will be jointly presented by both Robert M. DeNichilo, Esq. (Nordberg|DeNichilo, LLP) and Amy K. Tinetti, Esq. (Hughes Gill Cochrane, PC). Both of these distinguished speakers carry with them extensive and impressive credentials as both attorneys specializing in community association-industry related matters, as well as recognized and awarded members of multiple CAI California chapters. Closing in on well over thirty years of combined experience within the industry, these two will be outstanding presenters at this year’s event, and based on my own personal experience in attending the seminar in the past, you won’t be disappointed by attending.
In total, there will be three educational programs offered this year, with Robert and Amy providing the first one. Their program will be followed by two others after lunch Sunday. By four o’clock that afternoon we will have our lobbyist, Skip Daum (Capitol Communications Group) giving us a briefing on the bills that will have an impact on the common interest communities here in California. This is the session where we are presented with detailed information on the bills that CAI-CLAC either supports or opposes, along with the reasons for our positions taken on them. The information being shared during Skip’s presentation is critical to the conversations that we will have the next day (Monday) when we all descend on the Capitol to speak in-person with our legislators about those same bills identified as important to us.
When that session wraps, it’s time for relaxing a bit by joining with the CLAC delegates, liaisons, our lobbyist, and all the support-staff who enable CLAC to be the effective advocacy organization it has evolved into over the years. Called “Meet the Delegates”, it is an opportunity to network with the CLAC members directly over appetizers and cocktails in a relaxed environment where questions, comments, discussions and just plain ol’ camaraderie flows freely among those in attendance, and serves as an excellent segue to the next day’s visit to the Capitol and subsequent meetings with our legislators.
For those who have not had the opportunity in the past to be a part of this annual event, this year could be the time to finally join with other CAI members by participating in Leg-Day 2016. For those who have “been there-done that” in the past, then you already know first-hand, what a great opportunity it presents to actually influence our legislators in moving in a direction that CLAC advocates, relating to pending bills before those elected officials who will be considering them.
And finally, many of you have heard the term “grass roots”, when it comes to legislative efforts conducted by the so-called “common-folks” of the land or community. Leg-Day is a classic example of a true “grass roots” effort, mounted by those of us who are intimately involved in the community association industry at some level or another. The hundreds of CAI members statewide who continue to participate in each year’s Leg-Day is nothing less than an opportunity to “make a difference” in the overall quality-of-life for all of us who call common interest communities home as well as for those who support our communities, by participating in the “grass roots” efforts that this event offers all of us. Why not join us this year as we continue the tradition? All the information you need is located at the CLAC website.
Robert Riddick, CMCA
Riddick is the current President of the Sunnymead Ranch PCA, and past GRIE-Chapter President as well. He is also a past member and Chair of the CAI National CAVC committee, and is a past CAI National Board of Trustees member. He ended his sixth year as a GRIE-Chapter Board member at the end of 2014, and currently serves as the CAI-GRIE chapter CLAC Liaison.