Audubon Advocacy Week 2023

Raise your voice for for birds and our communities.

Western Meadowlark Photo: James Halsch

Audubon Virtual Advocacy Week is on June 19-21, 2023. This year, Audubon Chapters are organizing virtual meetings with legislators to advocate for bird-friendly legislation. It’s easy, fun, and makes a BIG difference!

What's at Stake

Governor Newsom and the California Legislature are making decisions that will affect birds and people in California for decades to come. Audubon is sponsoring innovative bills to protect grassland and migrating birds, as well as build climate resilience, including: 

The California Rangeland, Grazing Land, and Grassland Protection Program (AB720): Our grassland birds are the most imperiled in California and this bill will protect habitat for the American Kestrel, Western Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow, Acorn Woodpecker, and California Quail.

The Save Our Night Skies Act (AB38):  Every day in the U.S., one million birds die from collisions with buildings or structures as a result of outdoor night lighting. Reducing artificial night light can prevent 60% of bird collisions! This bill ensures safe passage for birds that migrate by the stars.

Budget and Bonds: We will advocate for prioritizing billions in state budget and bond spending to build climate resilience, equitable access to nature, and invest in natural resources. 

Your voice matters.  We look forward to advocating with you!

How it Works

Chapters have always been a core strength of Audubon’s advocacy. This year, we will focus on building chapters’ skills to lead advocacy throughout the year. 

For Audubon Advocacy Week 2023, Audubon California staff will support chapter leaders in organizing, scheduling, and conducting meetings with elected officials. Chapter leaders will learn how to identify and contact their elected representatives. You will have all the tools needed to set up and conduct successful advocacy meetings. 

Participants will be invited to join video conferences with elected officials from their regions. During these calls, we will talk about the issues and bills that are a top priority for birds and communities in California. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with state officials and make sure they hear from Audubon members directly. 

Check out our Virtual Advocacy Toolkit with information on what to expect during your meetings with elected officials and our talking points for Audubon’s priority legislation. We also included sample social media posts.

Timeline

  • May 10: Advocacy Day Training Webinar from 12:00 -1:00 pm PST
  • May 12 and 19: Advocacy Day Prep Open Office Hours 
  • Starting May 15, 2023 Chapter leaders can schedule meetings with legislative offices. 
  • June 19 - 21, 2023: Audubon chapters and members will hold meetings with legislators and their staff 

Meeting Agenda

Below is a sample agenda for your meetings with legislators. Each meeting will be hosted by an Audubon Chapter leader, who will provide the Zoom meeting and facilitate the meeting. Most meetings will be between 20-30 minutes. 

1. Audubon participants sign onto the Zoom conference line 15 minutes ahead of the meeting schedule. 

2. Introductions: invite the legislator or legislative office staffer to introduce themselves. For large groups (more than 6 Audubon participants), we encourage everyone to introduce themselves in the chat. For smaller groups, you may take time for everyone to say their name and chapter affiliation (if any).

3. Discussion of why the top issues that impact birds and our communities are important to you.

4. Wrap-up and thank youInvite the legislator or legislative staffer to a bird walk or another event.

Tips on Speaking with Legislators

In general, meetings with legislators are brief, so speakers should make sure every moment counts. A few key tips are:

  • Lead with what is important. Start with the main points, then give background if appropriate and there is time.
  • Less is more. Stick to simple, clear messages and repeat them often.
  • Use plain language. Avoid overly technical terms, jargon, or acronyms.
  • Be responsive. Listen to the questions posed and let the discussion have a natural flow, but make sure you deliver the main message.

How you can help, right now