Building relationships with our legislators

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Building relationships with our legislators

Members of the Ridgway-Ouray Community Council met with Rep. Barbara McLachlan on September 6. Pictured from left are: Don Swartz, Vicki Warner-Huggins, Roze Evans, Rep. McLachlan, Dudley Case, Jen Parker, Kate Kellogg, Donna Green and Robyn Cascade.

WCC’s Legislative Committee is in the midst of in-district meetings with our state-level elected officials. So far, in partnership with the leadership of WCC’s local affiliate groups, we’ve met with Senator Don Coram (R-Dist, 6), Rep. Marc Catlin (R-District 58) and Rep. Barbara McLachlan (D-District 59). With a total of 11 officials representing WCC’s membership in Denver, we have a busy few months ahead of us!

Establishing relationships with our legislators outside of the hectic legislative session (January to May each year) helps remind them who we are and of WCC’s mission to increase our members’ power over decisions that affect their lives. It also allows us the opportunity to thank them for any legislation they passed that we supported.

When we get to know our elected officials on a more personal level, we are able to gain a better understanding of why they ran for office and what they are passionate about. With a better perspective of their vision for the future, we find commonality. This allows WCC to support legislation introduced by our legislators, work with them to run legislation pushed by our affiliate groups, and also hold them accountable to their constituents.

In the short term, in-district meetings help us forecast for the session ahead. Legislators use the off-session to lay the groundwork for the coming year’s session — identifying bills to introduce and participating in interim session committee meetings.

With a politically-packed 2018 ahead of us, it’s imperative that we work closely with our elected officials to pass legislation that supports communities in rural Colorado.

If you are interested in participating in an in-district meeting, or want an update from our legislative committee, get in touch with Jeriel at jeriel@wccongress.org. And if you are interested in becoming a more active participant during the regular session, consider joining our legislative action team that makes calls, writes letters, and focuses on specific bills being introduced. We’re ready to have you on the team!

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