Political Savvy for California's Parks and Recreation Professionals
Rosemary Cameron, Public Affairs Consultant shares strategies to win friends and influence leaders.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political Savvy for California's Parks and Recreation Professionals
Desktop Education for
Parks and Recreation
Welcome and Sign-In
• Sign in with:
– Your Agency Name and
the number of people
webinar from your
– What is the name of the
person who will be
inputting answers into the
Or, how to win friends and
influence people AND benefit
your parks and recreation
Presented by Rosemary Cameron
Make and Take
Public Affairs Consultant
Let’s get started!
YES or NO?
Did you do your
• In your chat box, please share
the name of your State
• Did you have to look their
Let’s Review--Pre-Webinar Assignment
TRUE or FALSE
Most or all of the people in our group
knew the name of their State Legislators
without having to look them up.
Please type the names of some of your
Assembly Members and Senators IN
THE CHAT BOX.
Pre-Webinar Assignment—Part Two
Click and Share
Let’s take a look at your
Make and Take Handout
• Use the template to plan your
Government/Legislative Outreach strategy.
• Fill in the blanks with specific activities that
meet your local situation.
• Word version is included in your e-mails
• Parks and Recreation
departments/agencies operate within a
broader political context—what does that
• Who are your key external stakeholders?
• Parks and Recreation
departments/agencies possess key
strategic positioning strengths—what are
• How to get started—low hanging fruit!
Here’s what we’ll be focusing on:
Think about it like marketing….
• Parks and Recreation agencies operate in
a political environment, impacted by
decisions made by State Legislators and
What the Legislature givith, the
Legislature can take away!
– Property tax shifts to the State—it happened!
– Prop 218—added 2/3 vote requirement for
assessment district maintenance funding.
– Do you even remember the last State Park
Assembly Member Senator
Bd. of Sup.
Bd. of Directors
Park & Rec Commission
City Mgr./County Mgr.
Park & Rec Dir./Gen. Mgr.
Think about other key strategic
• Chamber of Commerce
• Service Clubs
• Other community organizations
• Environmental organizations
• Hospitals and health care organizations
• County Board of Supervisors
What are we missing?
Take ONE minute to discuss
and share in your chat box.
• Share some examples of some other
strategic stakeholder groups or
individuals that you believe are
important to your parks and recreation
• Are any of you currently reaching out
to these types of organizations or
Let’s circle back to the
We’re not forgetting them!
The residents of your
district will always be your priority
and your top stakeholders.
And, let’s not forget your
• City Council/Board of Supervisors/Board
• City/County/General Manager and staff
• Parks and Recreation Commission
Moving forward to action…
There are two distinct tracks for action:
1. General awareness of Recreation and
Park Department/District and its many
2. Advocacy on behalf of parks and
recreation related legislation and issues
The Make and Take is all
Let’s take a minute to talk about how you
can build out the Legislative/Government
Relations Outreach Plan Template to fit your
Department/Agency’s needs and staff
Let’s talk tactics for Track 1
• You might consider General Awareness
part of your overall “branding” efforts or
just plain good communications.
• But, it’s really a systematic and ongoing
effort to communicate with priority
stakeholders as well as state legislators.
Expand your mailing list
• Include State Legislators, their district
office staff and strategic stakeholders in all
communications such as program guides,
• Don’t forget volunteers—
make them feel like
Encourage more informal visits
• Invite Legislators and their staff to tour a
facility or visit a program…..lunch at the
Senior Center is always a good idea!
Request a speech
• Invite your Legislator to be a speaker at a
dedication or special event
• Make the invitation early
• Provide key
Use social media
• Connect to your legislators through social
media…..they are there!
Strategic Community Outreach
Volunteer to speak at community,
environmental and service organizations
and network while you’re there!
• Starts with relationship building
• Move, over time to taking positions on
legislation and actively advocating
Meet with your Legislators
• Schedule an annual meeting—district office
may be easiest location
• Always bring printed information about your
Get to know your
• Schedule annual meetings with district
staff and Capitol staff
• Always bring printed information about
accomplishments, summarize challenges
Hold an informal event for
• Include other State or Federal agency staff
you work with regularly
• Make it casual and fun
• Say “thanks”
for their hard
Get familiar with the CPRS
• Review CPRS Legislative Committee
• Review bills being supported and opposed
• Understand how a bill becomes a law
Get involved—become an
• CPRS has a day to day presence in the
• But, our individual involvement is needed
to influence the 80 Assembly Members
and 40 Senators
• All the information you need is at:
www.cprs.org, click on “Advocacy”
Parks and Recreation has what
• Parks and Recreation offers Legislators
just what they need and want----
1. Positive, upbeat programs
2. Big events with lots of
3. Great photo ops