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Legislative Advocacy

Talking to your legislators

As a local elected or appointed official, you’re all about community service, fixing things, pulling the community together and moving forward. Your legislators are about the same things. As much time and effort as you spend in your communities being elected officials, it’s also part of your job to communicate with legislators – and they need to hear from you.

Check out our Operation: Strong Cities Pocket Guide for great tips on engaging your legislators. Spend time communicating with legislators. They can impact you unintentionally if they don’t know what is going on in your city. When they are well informed, they can be very helpful!

There is a role for everyone in working with your legislators. Don’t assume that is just the job of the mayor or city manager. Mayors, councilmembers and city staff can all be helpful in communicating what’s important to your city. Take some time to coordinate so that everyone can work together to take advantage of opportunities to share your message with your legislators.

Find your legislator

Learn how to engage your legislators
when visiting the Capitol

Learn tips for working with your legislators

Things to remember

You can also comment on bills from home by submitting something in writing to the committee chair, members of a committee or your own legislators. Calls and emails are a fast way to connect with legislators and let them know how a specific issue impacts your local community.

Do you live in eastern Washington? For the 2015 legislative session, the Senate launched a remote testimony pilot project. Read more.

Tips on how to talk with your legislator

City lobbyist Mark Brown provides his top-ten tips for communicating with legislators. Read more.

Cities that lobby may need to report to the PDC

Cities and towns that conduct lobbying activities either through a contract lobbyist or directly with in-house staff or city council members may need to report to the Public Disclosure Commission. Those that hire a contract lobbyist must file a report. If you have in-house staff or elected officials who spend more than four days a quarter directly lobbying the legislature, you may need to complete a report. For more information on reporting requirements and how to file a report visit the PDC’s website or review the PDC’s Public Agency Lobbying handbook. Cities and towns that fail to comply with reporting requirements on lobbying activities may be subject to penalties from the PDC.