Well, we did it. We survived the 2016 election. While some of you are yearning for the excitement of the past months or are busy speculating about what the new year will bring, here at CALA, we are still celebrating the amazing efforts of our members in building relationships with local policymakers.
One of those members is Belmont Village. Earlier this year, we reported on two Belmont communities who hosted their legislators. And in the fall of this year, two more Belmont communities, in both northern and southern California, got in on the action. According to Belmont Village of Westwood‘s Executive Director, James Arp, Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) visited with residents for about two hours in October. “We hosted him in the Town Hall for a Town Hall meeting; about 25 residents attended.”
Arp said that Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas talked about the infrastructure of West Los Angeles and the bills he sponsored, among other topics. In addition, the assemblymember and residents had a long discussion about housing and issues surrounding homelessness in the Westood area. “Residents were very engaged and complimentary,” Arp said.
During the visit, the assemblymember mentioned he would be interested in attending the community’s holiday party. Arp said that he would send an invite as a way of solidifying and growing the relationship with Ridley-Thomas’s office.
Last month, Belmont Village San Jose had the honor of hosting their Assemblymember, the honorable Evan Low (D-Cupertino). According to Executive Director Keith Payne, “Mr. Low did a brief introduction to the residents, and a short Q & A session. Afterwards, Mr. Low and his assistant enjoyed lunch with a group of residents, which lasted about an hour.”
After lunch, Payne toured Assemblymember Low around the community, pointing out the interesting features that make Belmont Village San Jose unique. “We invited Mr. Low to our next professional mixer coming up in February, and Mr. Low accepted our invitation.”
He adds that he received a thank you letter after the visit, in which Assemblymember Low wrote, “Thank you for your generous hospitality. I appreciated the opportunity to have lunch with some of your residents. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and the company.” All in all, Payne says, “it was a great visit!”
Are you interested in making connections with your local lawmakers? Join CALA’s 2017 Advocates in Action team!