Mid-May is a busy time for California Budget advocates at the state and local level. The Governor usually releases a revised state budget based on new projections and the Legislature is motivated to pass a budget by June 30 for the upcoming fiscal year.
When these steps are put in motion, voices from around the state have a moment to call attention to the decisions represented in the budget – and the impacts on communities and individuals. At FCP, we keep our eye on the budget’s impact on education and social safety net services like subsidized childcare, CalWORKs, MediCal, and In-Home Supportive Services. What are you fighting for?
All of our voices matter. So here are a few tips for getting your voice and viewpoint in the news:
- Be ready to respond right away: most budget stories will be written on the day the Governor releases his budget. Your best bet at having your organization’s response to the budget included in these stories is to have one ready on the day the news breaks. Politics is an especially fast-paced part of the news cycle.
- Introduce yourself to the media beforehand: it never hurts to pick up the phone and introduce yourself to reporters covering the state budget beat in your region. That way they’ll have your contact info on hand, and have a clear idea of whose perspective you’re representing in California as they’re drafting their piece.
- Have your social media content ready – and a group prepared to echo your messaging using many platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and e-blasts).
- Offer an opinion piece well ahead of schedule. Consider, for example, this recent piece from Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan on three services restorations to make in the California budget that will help fight poverty in California.
As you can imagine, these tips apply to any effort to work your voice into a breaking news cycle. Good luck.