By Janet Quinn-Dennis
This article first appeared in The Communicator, Winter 2021. To read more, click here.
Early in my career I realized that I was frustrated with many of the laws that affected the CID industry. Case law, as well as legislative law, seemed ineffective at holding back the tide of special interest groups that wanted to have a say in the way our homeowners and directors lived their lives.
Then, sometime in the mid-1980s, I was introduced to a mentor who would show me ways in which I could legislatively direct my passion for this industry. This person was the one and only Beth Grimm. She was heavily involved in CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC). Beth served as a delegate for the Bay Area/Central Chapter, as well as the PR chair on the Executive Committee. She encouraged me to participate on the local Legislative Support Committee (LSC) at that time and introduced me to other statewide delegates.
The hook was set during my first Legislative Day at the Capitol when I found myself outside my assemblyman’s office without an appointment. I put into practice what I had learned during the day and walked into the office introducing myself as a constituent. Unbelievably, I was ushered into the member’s office and I shared our mission. Since he was about to go into a hearing, I thanked him and left his office. I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of the effect a constituent has on our legislative leaders. I knew I had found my committee. #YourVoiceMatters #CLACAttack
I must say, as a non-attorney, I was at first intimidated by the "legal beagles" and was not confident that I could add much to the committee. However, I realized that everyone’s voice mattered; and this group could act like a megaphone by educating our legislators as to what the CID industry was about. We were originally known in the halls of Sacramento as the CIA! That has changed, thanks to our legislative advocates Skip Daum and Louie Brown.
With the current Covid-19 lockdown, contact with our representatives looks a bit different. We had to cancel our Day at the Capitol and do not know what the rest of the year will look like. However, in this age of technology, we have the ability to Zoom with our representatives directly. Our job as committee members is to educate our representatives on just what CIDs are and how certain laws affect them on a daily basis. We also offer ourselves as resources to answer any questions they may have to assist them in their legislative process.
Stay connected with your local representatives on every form of social media. You can identify yourself as a constituent on Facebook. Join their page and find out what other forms of social media they use. Knowledge is power.
Our chapter’s delegates/liaisons are:
We are all committed to help bring grass roots support from you to our legislators. We are also committed to participating in fundraising events to help support our chapter’s share of CLAC’s budget. You can expect to see more in the upcoming year on our "Buck-A-Door and Maybe More" program, which will be sent to our management affiliates and included in their HOA’s budgets. All money collected goes to support our one paid lobbyist, Louie Brown, and to either oppose or support upcoming legislation that will affect our HOAs.
Join us, won’t you? We always need worker bees on our LSC Committee. Homeowners, board members, managers and other business partners – you also have something to contribute. If anyone is interested, please contact Laura Ravazza, our LSC chair at [email protected]. Also, we draw candidates for our chapter’s CLAC delegates from that committee. So, come join us. #YourVoiceMatters #BeTheChange #caibaycen #hoalife