Past and Upcoming San Diego-Area Legislative Visits

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November 18, 2011 The local charter community has had some luck getting legislators out to visit our charter schools this fall. It requires some tenacity but if you are persistent, visits can happen. Recently, Literacy First had their yearly celebration around Veteran's Day. Each year they invite veterans out to share their stories of courage and valor with the students, they sing patriot songs together, they have a parade and plant flags in memory of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our county. This year they invited their legislators to this event and got both Congressman Hunter and Assembly Member Jones to come out and participate. It was both a fun and emotionally moving event, which left a positive impression on the legislators.

Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA) also had a successful legislative visit this week. They took the opportunity to invite legislators to their monthly Coffee with the Director, which brings out many parents who have the chance to share ideas and learn more about their charter school. GPA took the occasion to invite their local Senator out for a visit. Senator Vargas came bright and early to see how students are greeted each morning at the "Gates of Knowledge" and then participate in the parent coffee. This was an excellent opportunity for parents to meet their legislator and for Senator Vargas to hear the wonderful story that Gompers has to share.

These are both excellent examples of how charters can use events that they already have planned to get legislators involved in their schools. It is important that charter schools develop on-going relationships with their local legislators. Please take the time to send out invitations and follow those up with emails and phone calls, so that more legislators get to know charter schools.

Another opportunity to interact with a local legislator is coming up on December 15 from 5-6 p.m. at America's Finest Charter, who has invited Congressman Filner to visit their school and meet with local charter community. They have extended the invitation to all local charters who want to come and share their story and have a little Q&A with the Congressman. As you know, Congressman Filner is running for mayor so this is a great opportunity for us to share our charter successes and priorities. Anyone interested in joining the event should contact Jan Perry at jan@americasfinestcharterschool.org.