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Participate in the League's advocacy goals process 

 by Jessica Wells, NCLM Communications Specialist 

Planning for the 2015-2016 legislative biennium is well underway, and on December 11, hundreds of League members will come to Raleigh for the Advocacy Goals Conference to choose the League’s Municipal Advocacy Goals for the next two legislative sessions.

The Advocacy Goals Conference takes place every two years to determine the League’s legislative strategy, but the goals started as suggestions from members.

“Every thing we do at the League comes from a member-driven process,” League Executive Director Paul Meyer said. “It’s important that our members tell us what their goals are for the legislative session so we can help them achieve it.”

From January to October, four policy development committees -- a Regulatory Action Committee and three Legislative Action Committees -- meet to discuss their ideas. More than 40 members are on each committee and serve as subject-matter experts to propose new goals and policies.

Pictured are representatives from Stem at the last Advocacy Goals Conference in January 2013. Photo credit: Jessica Wells

During the summer, the League accepts legislative proposals from the membership which go back to the policy development committees for debate and amendments. A representative from each town can easily submit their suggestions via the website during the proposal window. In 2012, the committees met 14 times and reviewed more than 200 goals. The review process is currently underway for 2014, and to date more than 100 goals have been submitted.

After the committees vote on those goals, they make a recommendation to the League Board of Directors. The Directors debate, reject or amend the goals as they see fit in October and offer them for a member review before the Advocacy Goals Conference in December. For the 2013 Advocacy Goals Conference, the Board narrowed the 88 recommended goals down to 58 for membership vote, and 30 received a majority vote to become Advocacy Goals.  

The proposals receiving a majority vote from the membership will become part of the 2015-2016 Municipal Advocacy Goals that the League’s Governmental Affairs team will use as a guide. The goals range from municipal utility control and ETJ to tax fund appropriations and water quality standards.

For more information about the legislative advocacy process, contact Cara Bridges, League governmental affairs associate at (919) 715-0950 or cbridges@nclm.org.