As of March 8, 2017, California Assembly Member Jim Wood (District 2, North Coast) is looking for co-sponsors to join him in submitting a letter to the Budget Committte requesting $2.0 million in next year’s budget for the state’s Weed Management Areas (WMAs). Here’s the draft letter. To make this work, we need you to contact your state representatives to get them on board. Only you, their constituents, can tell them how funding for your WMA will benefit their district. Here’s what you do.
1. Identify your representatives
- Identify which Assembly Member(s) represents the area where you work. Use the interactive map of Assembly districts (there’s also a find your legislator page, which works for a specific address). Then get the phone number for their Sacramento office from their webpage, listed on the Assembly roster. (You can also click straight through from the districts map.)
- Identify which State Senator(s) represents the area where you work. Use the map of Senate districts (there’s also a list of which counties each Senator represents and the find your legislator page). Then get the phone number for their Sacramento office from their webpage, listed on the Senate roster.
2. Call their Sacramento office
- Call the Sacamento office of each of your representatives. Ask to speak with the staff person who works on agriculture or the environment about signing onto a budget request letter.
- Tell this staff person, briefly, about the problems that invasive plants cause in the district, and how your WMA helps to coordinate effective management that protects the district. Mention values that an elected official can appreciate, depending on what part of the state you are in: agricultural productivity and jobs, wildfire safety, water supply, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat.
- Talking points you might also want to include: the range of organizations that are involved in your WMA; how local in-kind contributions are leveraged by these state funds.
- Ask them to contact Paul Ramey in Assembly Member Jim Wood’s office to sign onto the budget request letter.
- Get their name and email address. Send them a follow-up thank-you email, with a cc to Paul Ramey and Doug Johnson at Cal-IPC. This will allow us to follow up and get their sign-on.
Not involved in a WMA?
You can still help, if you know about and care about managing invasive plants in your area. Call your representatives and let them know that a coordinated, strategic approach like that taken by WMAs is essential to protecting our natural areas and the services they provide.
Contact Doug Johnson with any questions.
Let’s capitalize on this opportunity!