Guest Blog Post by Pam Richardson, Esq., with Flanagan Law, APC
Each year, California Community Association Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC) organizes an event that provides board members, community managers, and business partners working with community associations the opportunity to meet with and educate their legislators about pending legislation and current issues affecting California’s 55,000 community associations. This event is open to all who have an interest in advocating on behalf of California communities. This year’s event will once again be a four (4) day virtual CAI-CLAC Advocacy Week at the Capitol, on Monday, April 24, 2023 – Thursday, April 27, 2023.
All attendees will have the opportunity to attend the Opening and Closing Sessions, which will include an informative briefing with CAI-CLACs Legislative Advocate, Louie Brown, to address current bills, legislative strategy, and key issues to be discussed in each virtual advocacy meeting and a briefing from Dawn Bauman, Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs for CAI National.
During the week, each of the eight (8) chapters of CAI will have a virtual advocacy meeting with legislators and staffers from their respective districts. Chapter sessions will be spread out over three (3) days. Attendees are welcome to attend any or all of these sessions. We recommend that you attend the session for your local chapter as it is important for legislators to see how many of their constituents are attending. You may also attend any other chapter sessions.
Virtual advocacy meetings serve multiple purposes including educating legislators, seeking support for specific bills, and showing appreciation for past support. The meetings focus on issues and bills that were identified as being important by the CAI-CLAC Delegate body.
This year, we will be asking for the legislator’s support of two (2) bills that were sponsored by CAI-CLAC, and another bill of importance to community associations. Additionally, there will be a member of CAI-CLAC’s Insurance Task Force in each meeting to discuss industry concerns regarding insurance coverage. Due to the virtual format, we are able to include many more attendees in each virtual advocacy meeting than in past years when we met in person. Each year that we have done virtual meetings, the legislators and their staff members were impressed that there were so many members participating in the virtual meetings. This really gives the legislators and their staff members a more thorough understanding of just how many constituents they have who are living in and working with community associations.
The legislators and/or their staff members will have specific appointment times when they join the chapter legislative meeting. Our Legislative Advocate, Louie Brown, will open up each legislative meeting and will provide support throughout the meeting. A member of CAI-CLAC’s Executive Committee will provide information regarding CAI-CLAC and a moderator will introduce each speaker who will be discussing a specific bill. A CAI-CLAC Delegate and members of the local CAI Chapter’s Legislative Support Committee (LSC) will also be attending the meeting.
At the Closing Session on the final day of Advocacy Week, attendees will hear a debrief from each Chapter’s meetings, and CAI-CLAC will present Volunteer Awards for 2022.
We look forward to seeing you at Advocacy Week!