Former Speaker Tip O'Neill coined the phrase, “All politics is local.” So, I ask you ... do you know who your local and state representatives are?
To find your local government official, visit https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ or simply do a quick search online for your state legislators. Once you have identified your elected officials, I encourage you to get to know them by visiting their websites and social media accounts or attending community events they are hosting.
Engagement and connection in our communities are essential. To mobilize support for your local county UC Master Gardener Program, I encourage you to invite your elected officials to a workshop or event. Most elected officials have an e-mail address or directions on how to send an event invitation posted online. Policymakers might be interested in attending a hands-on gardening workshop around a cause they support (community well-being and health, food security, water conservation, protecting the environment, and many more) that allows them to mix and mingle with their constituents. If it is a well-attended event, you might offer the district office an opportunity to host a constituent services table. You provide a six-foot table and a couple of chairs, and the elected official sends staff to provide constituent services to the attendees. Remember to take photos to post on your social media accounts, thanking them for attending. Also, share those photos with the elected officials so they can post or share them on their social media pages.
If you want to learn more about how to work with your public officials, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, to grow a healthy garden, it takes time and energy. The same concept applies to growing program awareness with your public officials, it takes time and commitment to help them get to know you!