The Lobby focuses on issues and promotes beneficial legislation, while remaining strictly non-partisan and not supporting any specific political party or candidate.
Who we are; What we do.
To Help Improve the Quality of Life and Well-Being of Aging Coloradans.
Colorado Senior Lobby is the only non-partisan, non-affiliated, all-volunteer non-profit that has been serving the entire spectrum – every stripe and category – of Colorado seniors for 38 years; helping those seniors learn more about how public policy and resource allocation to senior-related issues intersect – and most importantly, how to become active participants in public processes.
Your involvement is a critical piece of our democratic process. Many of Colorado’s older adults/seniors want to make a difference, not just vote for someone different.
CSL works to break stereotypes of senior citizens being reliable yet poorly informed voters; we promote a better understanding of aging, enhance engagement in community, and train for volunteerism.
Clearly, yesterday’s solutions will not fix tomorrow’s problems – and that includes public policy. We live in an age of constant and rapid change in technology: self-driving cars, drones, robotics, smart phones, Alexa-type interfaces, computers and 3-D printing. These are more tools that can be used by older Coloradans to help make better public policy.
For CSL, advocacy and “lobbying” are one in the same. When we lobby, we are advocating for (or against) public policy issues that impact older Coloradans. There are many steps involved in effective advocacy, and CSL volunteers may select one or more of them as their way to be involved:
- Researching policy issues for CSL to proactively promote and providing that research to those who make regular appearances at the Capitol to be senior advocates/lobbyists.
- Providing research on legislation proposed by our state senators and representatives – finding the facts, uncovering problems before they become real issues.
- Showing up at our Legislative Committee meetings to discuss policies and legislation.
- Being an active lobbyist for CSL (or yourself) at the Capitol. Here are a few tips:
- Introduce yourself to legislators and staff. Make appointments to talk when possible.
- Be prepared!
- FOCUS ON:
- Problem being solved with the piece of legislation being discussed
- Bring personal perspective (your own is best, but that of another is good too)
- Understanding both sides of the issue and the key points of each (very important in preparing to give testimony in case there are questions form committee).
More Tips on Advocacy/Lobbying:
- Be respectful of legislator time, both in informal meetings and in committee meetings. If you send a legislator and email, make is short and to the point.
- When practicable, focus on the legislators from your own district and how people in that district will be impacted by a bill. Numbers are helpful in this regard – numbers of people impacted, dollars, cases, etc.
- Educate as needed – the key points you want them to remember.
- Understand that legislators are very busy in the last few weeks of the session, in particular. Get acquainted with key people early in the session, when they have more time.
- Know that each legislator may introduce five bills in each session, occasionally more. (This is well over 500 bills each session!) Bills are drafted over the summer or fall and must be in the hands of Legislative Legal Services (LLS) by November. (LLS actually writes the bills, which requires knowledge of existing statutes, experience, and legal skills.)
- Leadership of each house assigns legislators to particular committees. Legislators typically request particular committees and may get what they ask for (or not).
- Each legislator has a part-time aide who is restricted to 800 hours per session. These are typically very young and ambitious people with a strong interest in politics/public service who are paid $12/hour. They can help get access to their boss. Be kind to them.
If you leave something with a legislator to read, make it eye-catching.
- Remember that everyone likes food/sweets.
Giving Testimony at Committee Hearings:
- Know your key points and those of the opposition
- Be yourself – imagine you are talking to one person
- Make your point, tell a story that supports it if you have one, provide supporting numbers, and stop talking. (It’s like selling – when you’ve made the sale, stop selling and close the deal.)
To be a vibrant, empowered citizen takes confidence. Confidence is a result of preparation. Preparation requires information and education.
More volunteer opportunities:
- Participate in CSL
- Gather information
- Compose articles for the newsletter and help put it together
- Help with educational events – like Senior Day at the Capitol (March 13, 2019)
- Coordinate with other organizations to co-support (or co-oppose) new public policy
- Fund-Raising – with all volunteers, why do we need money?
- Organize and implement educational events around the state—space rentals, food, supplies, audio visual equipment
- Technology costs, annual fees, website maintenance
- Office supplies, publish newsletter, postage, PO Box rental
- Conference fees
- Per diem for our volunteer lobbyists at the Capitol (parking, food)
Join or Donate to Colorado Senior Lobby Today – CLICK HERE
“You have one of the most tremendous resources before you today which is an organization tuned into your issues that will actually take the time to train you how to be a citizen lobbyist. I really encourage you to take advantage of it …”Rachel Zenzinger, Senate District 19