On October 15th, Governor Jerry Brown wrapped up the first year of a two-year legislative session by signing some bills and vetoing others. Three of those signed bills had been supported by 150 individuals from all around the state on Policymaker Education Day in July, as part of the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity (4CA):
- AB 340 (Arambula): Creates a statewide advisory body to review how trauma is detected in children as early as possible. Specifically, it brings together the Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Social Services and children’s health, juvenile justice and legal advocates from around the state to review current screening protocols and make recommendations about how to improve trauma screening for children. (Sponsored by Californians for Safety & Justice)
- AB 1340 (Maienschein): Requires the Medical Board of California to consider including in its continuing education requirements a course in integrating mental and physical health care in primary care settings, especially as it pertains to early identification of mental health issues and exposure to trauma in children and young adults and their appropriate care and treatment. (Sponsored by The Steinberg Institute)
- SB 54 (De León): Limits the involvement of state and local law enforcement agencies in federal immigration enforcement.
As an effort to keep the momentum going from Policymaker Education Day, and to continue educating policymakers about the effects of childhood adversity and possible solutions that are relevant for their communities, you can reach out to your legislators (http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov) and visit them in their district offices. Here are a few tips to help get the conversation started:
- Thank your Assemblymember and Senator for voting for any of the bills listed above.
- Talk about Policymaker Education Day on July 11, and your experience with it.
- If it was your first time talking to legislative members and staffers, share what that was like for you.
- If you met with the same policymaker you’re meeting with today, mention how great it is seeing him/her again and continue the dialogue around childhood adversity what is needed in their district.
- Provide yourself and your organization as a resource to the policymaker.
- If you aren’t sure about the rules for having a direct conversation with a policymaker about a bill, check out the resources at Bolder Advocacy and learn the guidelines for lobbying. Hint: you can probably do more than you think you can!
For more tips, please see the attached document on district meetings. It is important to build a relationship with your policymaker, and what better way than educating them about the impacts of childhood adversity?
If you have any questions, please contact Gail Yen, Health Policy Associate at Children Now. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.