Meeting with your local legislators is one of the most valuable things you can do not only as a DECA member, but as a member of your community. Local legislators range from your Congressperson that represents your district in Washington D.C. all the way to your local school board. Advocating to these local representatives is important because there are many ways their legislative actions directly affects chapters and associations. For example, advocating to school district boards about the importance and benefits of DECA can potentially lead to more CTE-certified classes in that district.
Find Your Legislators:
If you are confused about the different types of legislators out there or how to contact them, don’t worry we have all the different offices listed here.
- Superintendent: Search “Superintendent of… your school district name“
- Mayor: Search “Mayor of… your city name“
- State Representative: Use this CA government website: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
- State Senator: Same website as above: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
- U.S. Congress Member: Use this U.S. government website: house.gov/representatives/find
Conduct the Visit:
You may be asking how do I advocate with my legislator when I eventually get to meet them? A general outline of what to discuss is as follows:
- Introduce Yourself
- Discuss DECA
- Discuss Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Discuss Chapter/District Specific Issues
- Give a Business Card/Contact Information
Tips on How to Advocate:
- Be well-versed on DECA and CTE knowledge by preparing before hand
- Know your issues in your chapter and community
- Know what your legislator cares about
- Have some specific areas of focus to discuss
- Provide supplementary materials such as photos of conferences or infographics about DECA
- Be calm, your legislators love talking to constituents and addressing community issues
There are lots of resources that California DECA has created overtime to make the advocacy process easier and less complicated. Many of the resources can be found on the California DECA Official Website and our California DECA YouTube Page.
Here is a list of available resources from CA DECA:
- (Slideshare) Legislative Outreach How to Guide
- Legislative Email Template
- Legislative Meeting Outline
- Legislative Phone Call Script
- California DECA YouTube | Advocacy Sample
- DECA Inc. Fact Sheet
Resources from DECA Inc.