Petition the state legislature: All Californians must be able to participate in committee hearings!

Speaker of the California Assembly Robert Rivas; Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Pro tem elect Mike McGuire; members of the Assembly and the Senate

Californians from all parts of the state should be able to participate remotely in our state legislature's committee hearings. We ask the leadership and members of both houses to re-establish the policy, enacted during COVID, that requires policy committees to allow constituents to join hearings by phone, and state briefly their support or opposition for bills under discussion (known as "me-toos").

Additional Sponsors

To: Speaker of the California Assembly Robert Rivas; Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Pro tem elect Mike McGuire; members of the Assembly and the Senate
From: [Your Name]

To our elected representatives:

The ability to support or oppose proposed legislation should be available to all residents of California. A very effective way to do this is to offer "me-toos" in committee hearings. One of the benefits of the COVID pandemic was a new policy in the Capitol that provided for remote participation in hearings. Post-COVID, the Senate continued this practice. Unfortunately, the Assembly did not adopt such a policy for all committees, so in most instances constituents who cared enough to comment needed to be physically present in the Capitol during the 2022 session. Consequently, Assembly hearings were populated largely by professional lobbyists and those living within driving distance of Sacramento.

Now the Senate has adopted this anti-democratic policy, accepting only written or in-person participation in committee hearings. We the undersigned feel strongly that ALL California residents must have equal access to participate in their government.

Provision for remote participation will ensure that all voices can be heard by our elected decision makers. Remote "me-toos" also ensure that paid lobbyists do not have outsized influence in committee hearings. Please reinstate the policy of allowing constituents from everywhere in California to participate too!

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Only signers' names and cities will be included in the petition. Comments will be anonymous and edited for clarity and length.