One of the most common questions I hear is, “How can I get more involved in the Sonoma County Alliance?”  Here is an easy way to do that – sign up now to join our Advocacy Team.  The Advocacy Team is open to members, spouses, and friends of members that are willing to help us advocate with various county elected officials and boards, Working Together for a Healthy Economy, Community, and Environment.

We are looking for volunteers to attend City Council and Board of Supervisor meetings when there is an agenda item which decision will have a significant impact, either positive or negative, on our members.  At least 5 days prior to the meeting we will email our Advocacy Team the estimated schedule of the agenda item, our concerns and talking points in favor or against the particular item, and any other details that we anticipate will come to fruition at the particular public hearing.

Some of these meetings we will be asking for our Advocacy Team to attend and make our presence known.  Often, we will also ask some of our volunteers to speak as well.  Your presence is important regardless of your level of participation.  You won’t be expected to speak if that’s not what you want to do, and we completely understand that conflicts and other commitments may arise preventing you from sometimes being able to answer our call to action.

Why This is Important . . .

Our elected leaders need to hear testimony supporting common sense policy decisions.  While that may sound obvious, the politics behind any issue can get contentious, and regardless of the intent of any ordinance or legislation, there will almost always be an organized opposition to the outcome we might desire.  The opposition is frequently a very vocal minority opinion, that will aggressively pursue their outcome.  We need to stand up to the elected officials with a factual and strategic argument which will give them strong reasons to vote for our desired outcome.

Common Questions . . .

Will I have to sit in hours long meetings?  The agendas are published 4-5 business days prior the scheduled meeting.  Based on the agenda, we can estimate the time that the item will be heard and how long that item may take.  Many items can be heard in less than an hour’s time, but every item and meeting process will vary.  Sometimes we will know weeks in advance of the hearing date, but the actual times won’t be available until 5 days prior.

Will you provide me with talking points?  Yes, we will send an email to our volunteers with the details of the issue that are important to us and the facts that support our position.

How often will I have to attend one of these meetings?  It all depends on the policy calendar of the Board or Council, but we estimate making a call to action 4-8 times a year.  Some issues will require multiple hearings as well.

Do I have to show up every time?  No.  Although we need a consistent commitment from our Advocacy Team, we understand that we have many constraints in our personal and professional lives that won’t allow us to answer every call to action.

Is This Just for the Alliance Members?  No.  We frequently work with the other Business Groups including the North Coast Builders Exchange, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, North Bay Realtors, and other member affiliated groups.  Your work team members, friends, and family can participate as well if they want to be part of our Advocacy Team.

How Do I Sign Up for the Advocacy Team?  Just send me an email to ceo@sonomacountyalliance.com with your name and preferred contact information.  It will also be helpful to know your home address for issues that involve a particular city or representative district for the County or Cities that have elected Districts.

What’s Next?

It will be a work in progress to develop and maintain the list of Advocacy Team members as well as coordination with other groups.  We will set up a consistent communication schedule to allow for as much planning and information sharing as possible.  It certainly is our intent to make this simple, effective, and maybe even have some fun too.

Thank you for your interest in getting more involved and please contact me if you have any further questions or suggestions.

 

Brian Ling

(707) 484-7660 mobile

(707) 525-8377 office

ceo@sonomacountyalliance.com