The Government Affairs Committee advocates on behalf of the members of AFSCME Local 2620 by monitoring state legislative, departmental and other regulatory issues, and encourages member action through grassroots participation, and the backing candidates who support the goals of our Local.
Membership on the Government Affairs Committee
Members of the Government Affairs Committee includes the officers (Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary), Occupational Chairs from the Executive Board and other members selected for their expertise, departmental representation of other specific qualities that bring additional capabilities to the group. Such members are appointed by the President and have voting privileges on the committee.
Also in regular attendance will be the President and the Director of Political and Legislative Affairs for California PEOPLE, and our Council 57 Staff Member.
Members of AFSCME Local 2620 are also able to participate by making suggestions to the committee regarding legislation and/or other work related policies which they believe effects them or the members.
If you have questions or comments, you can contact the Chair, Heather Staheli, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is “Government Affairs?”
Government Affairs is merely becoming acquainted with government officials for the purpose of helping them conduct their business of formulating and executing public policy. AFSCME Local 2620’s Government Affairs Committee was established to build such relationships with a government official to represent member’s issues, needs and suggestions.
There are four basic steps in Government Affairs:
- Identify simply means making yourself and/or your organization is known to the people in local, state and federal government, relevant State agencies and State Departments. The key is to identify ourselves and build working relationships with these government officials.
- Inform policymakers means informing these officials about AFSCME Local 2620, your employer, your department, your clients and/or your professional group in order to help them understand who we are and what issues are of concern to us.
- Persuade the legislator. This step distinguishes you as an advocate and not an educator. At this stage, you want to present an honest and clear assessment of how the issue will negatively or positively affect the interests of AFSCME Local 2620. Let logic and facts win for you. Remember, you are the expert on your organization, your work, and your profession. This is a mutually beneficial working relationship, not a quid pro quo situation.
- Support is often neglected but can be an important element in the relationship. Support includes thanking the legislator who promoted your cause, regardless of the final outcome. People need to hear from you after their campaign as well as before. Support can also include campaign contributions if desired. But this topic must be kept separate from your lobbying efforts. Support should include helping with the work that you are asking your legislator to do on your behalf. It may also mean offering draft language for a bill, helping to reach a compromise or attending hearings on bills or policies and providing testimony on what you know from your work in State service.
To this end, AFSCME Local 2620’s Government Affairs Committee has adopted the following:
- Mission: AFSCME 2620 Government Affairs Committee mission is to promote and advance the best interest of its membership, through continued relationship building in the halls of government, the strategic initiatives and goals of Local AFSCME 2620, and to serve as the Local’s central source of contact with public policy makers, government officials, and community leaders.
- Purpose: To support members by serving as AFSCME Local 2620’s primary source of contact with public policy makers, government officials, and community leaders.
- Vision: To be recognized by local and state government as the voice of health and social service professionals in state service.
- Values: Job Protection, Safe Work Place Environment, and Professional Development.
There Ought to Be a Law
Have you ever heard someone say, “There ought to be a law about that?” But is that true in most of those cases? Do we really want there to be laws to regulate what used to be considered “common sense”? And more importantly, are all those potential laws and regulations even constitutional? Most people agree that laws are there for good reasons. Our Local takes an active role to advocate for issues that are important to working families, like the need to balance the economy, defend workers’ rights, and secure workers’ benefits through our Government Affairs Committee.
The Government Affairs Committee is an advisory body to the AFSCME Local 2620 Executive Board. It represents all occupations in the Local and has a representative from each occupational group and from departments throughout the State.
The most essential piece of information an elected official will need to know is how something will affect their constituents. Any governmental activity that affects our members is subject to action by the Government Affairs Committee. That means being proactive in the legislative process can change the course of day-to-day activities and livelihood for our members by providing legislators with factual information on how the piece of legislation will affect our members and their family.
That is why we are reaching out to our members of the community and give them the opportunity to contribute. The best laws often come from the ideas and experiences of working families.
Submit your proposal by filling out the form below.