Leaders of the Greater LA Legislative Committee held a training this month on how to advocate for climate and environmental legislation at the local and state level this month, as the January Legislative Session looms…

SoCal 350, Act on Climate, California

A crew of activists from all over Southern California came to Glendale to learn from the experts on how to advance climate legislation in California. Photo by Casey Gallagher

The Greater LA Legislative Committee, coordinating volunteer legislative climate action from a number of 350-related groups in the greater Los Angeles area, kicked off on December 3 with a well-received training at Glendale Community College. The event, and the Committee, are the brainchildren of Dan Brotman, chair of the SoCal350 Climate Action legislative committee.

Thirty enthusiastic volunteers from SoCal350Long Beach 350South Bay LA 350, and 350 Riverside (a new group!) heard Fossil Free California steering committee members Janet Cox and Carol Kravetz present on “Passing Climate Bills in California” and “Effective Citizen Lobbying.” Slides from the training are here.

Contents included

  • The legislative process in Sacramento
  • How to track bills
  • What advocates should know going into a meeting with a legislator
  • Planning and attending a legislative office visit

We used two current bills at different stages in the legislative process as case studies throughout the training: SB 100, Kevin de León’s bill designed to get California to 100 percent clean energy by 2045; and SB 560, Senator Ben Allen’s bill (sponsored by FFCA) that will define “climate-related financial risk” in law and require CalPERS and CalSTRS to report annually on climate risk in their portfolios. Following the presentations (and a delicious lunch provided by SoCal350), Jeff Lassanske of SoCal350 led a role-playing workshop where participants practiced meeting with a legislator about SB 100.

The Committee plans to develop a working relationship with the district offices of many of the greater LA area’s Senators and Assembly people. This work is especially important because the Los Angeles area is home to upwards of 40 legislators, many of whom are “moderate” Democrats who really need to hear from constituents if they’re going to vote for strong climate bills.

To hear training participants’ talk after the event, the training was not only painless but fun…and people are feeling ready to go meet with their representatives. We presenters had a great time too, and we’ll take the show on the road if others would like to sponsor a similar event!


–Carol K and Janet C