The City Council reviews and adopts the Legislative Platform, which forms the basis for legislative advocacy activities engaged in by City Council Members and City Staff. The Legislative Platform is informed by the City’s Strategic Goals, City Partner advocacy priorities, and neighboring cities positions.
At their February 21, 2023 regular meeting, the City Council reviewed the Draft 2023 Legislative Platform to quickly respond to bills and advocate on behalf of San Fernando residents and businesses.
We invite you to read the Draft 2023 Legislative Platform and submit comments via email to the City Manager’s Office.
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY POLICY
In the past, legislative advocacy was on a case-by-case basis and, often times, required support/opposition letters be presented to City Council at a regular Council meeting as the City did not have a written policy outlining the procedures for engaging in legislative advocacy. Consequently, the City was sometimes in a position that staff and Councilmembers could not react quickly to legislation that needed immediate action.
At their February 21, 2023 meeting, the City Council approved a Legislative Advocacy Policy establishing guidelines and standards for utilizing resources to provide the an organization’s position on proposed legislation to Federal, State, and Local elected officials. An accompanying Legislative Platform identifies an organization’s broad advocacy positions on contemporary issues and legislation. A Legislative Platform is short-term in nature, typically speak to current issues, and is supported by a majority of the governing body.
In 2022, the California State Legislature introduced 2,020 bills. Although the City did not take a position on every policy, the speed and frequency (particularly at the State level) in which legislation is proposed means that cities must be able to act quickly. Adopting the Legislative Advocacy Policy allows the City Council and City staff to efficiently respond to proposed local, state, and federal legislation. The Legislative Advocacy Policy formalizes the procedure for engaging in legislative advocacy by permitting City staff to write letters in support or opposition to proposed legislation without presenting every item to City Council at a regular City Council meeting. Consequently, the City will be able to quickly respond to legislative developments impacting the City as long as the position aligns with an element of the City Council-approved Legislative Platform. Furthermore, the Legislative Advocacy Policy leaves room for City Council intervention if the City Manager is unsure whether or not a proposed bill aligns with a previously established position on the Legislative Platform.
The Legislative Advocacy Policy includes the proposed 2023 Legislative Platform. The positions included in the proposed 2023 Legislative Platform are aligned with the City’s Strategic Goals and are informed by the League of California Cities legislative priorities, positions that the City has taken, positions that neighboring cities have taken in recent years, and legislative priorities of other local government advocacy organizations. The common theme for all positions focuses on the need to preserve local funding and local authority. By aligning legislative positions with strategic goals, the City Council and City staff will have a greater shared understanding as to why positions are taken and serves to mitigate potential disagreements in the future. Establishing clarity upfront shall enhance efficiency when numerous legislative bills impacting the City are introduced.
The Legislative Advocacy Policy establishes clear processes for City Councilmembers and City staff to advocate on behalf of the City, while also providing the necessary opportunities for deliberation and analysis before taking a citywide position. The proposed 2023 Legislative Platform provides the substantive basis through which City Council and City staff can efficiently and effectively engage in legislative advocacy.
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