Technicity Times
    Issue 2• February 2003

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Advocacy Day, 2003

Community Technology Leaders Set to Invade the State Capital

by James Lau

Community Technology Sacramento Day is an event when community technology supporters convene in Sacramento to introduce their programs to policy makers and advocate on issues important to them. Organized by the California Community Technology Policy Group (CCTPG), this opportunity to meet policy makers, influence public policies, and unite with others from across the state has been scheduled for March 25, 2003.

Sacramento Day is an important gathering for anyone who cares about community technology. With nearly one third of the members of the legislature newly elected, many elected officials have little knowledge about community technology. Since elected officials decide what programs receive government funding and serve as influential allies, it is in our interest to educate and inform them about the value of community technology.

Sacramento Day allows you to introduce your programs to and to cultivate relationships with elected officials. By doing so, you can position your programs as an indispensable entity in your community and demonstrate the need for dedicated community technology resources.

This year's event comes off the heels of last year's successful event, which drew over 120 people from across the state. Attendees received training in the advocacy process, talked with policymakers, and testified before a committee hearing, which prompted positive comments and enthusiasm from committee members. The event helped score legislative victories, such as a bill that qualifies community technology programs for discounted rates on advanced telecommunications services, e.g., ISDN and T1 lines, and a bill that includes nonprofit community technology programs as eligible recipients of after-school funding. Moreover, Sacramento Day made a lasting impression on policymakers, as they still allude to the event and have begun to consider the needs of community technology in their decisions.

The March 25th event will mirror much of what occurred last year, plus more activities. To stay posted about schedule developments and to RSVP, please visit www.cctpg.org and join the email listserv. Together, we can educate policymakers and make a strong case for community technology in this especially difficult budget climate.

James Lau is technology program manager for The Children's Partnership and is a member of CCTPG. He can be reached at jlau@childrenspartnership.org