The 2021 Arizona legislative session will officially get underway on Monday, January 11. Key bills that AzCDL monitors during the session will be found at our Bill Tracking page (currently showing 2020 legislation until the new session starts). Your AzCDL membership pays for professional lobbying at the Capitol. Our official representatives monitor legislation, get good bills introduced, testify at hearings, promote bills we support and call attention to bills we oppose.
However, the effectiveness of our lobbying efforts at the Capitol is dependent upon you contacting legislators, letting them know that as a voting constituent you are watching what they are doing, expecting them to vote for bills you support and against bills you don’t support.
You rely on us to get good bills introduced, tracked and championed at the Capitol, but we need you to hammer the message home. From the comfort of your home or office, you can make your voice heard at the Legislature using two very powerful tools.
AzCDL’s Legislative Action Center
As bills progress through the legislative process, opportunities arise for you to contact your legislators about how you want them to vote on pending legislation. We have an “app” for that. It’s our Legislative Action Center.
As key bills are scheduled for committee hearings and floor votes, we prepare emails targeted to your Senator or Representatives. All that’s left is for you to do is send the personalized email that we prepared for you. You can send your message as is or add your comments. All it takes is a few mouse clicks to make your voice heard.
The Request to Speak (RTS) system, provided by the Legislature, is a tool for contacting committee members. Note: Using the “Request to Speak” system does not require you to “speak.”
The original RTS system was a paper system set up in the last century to let committee chairs know when a person wanted to testify at a committee hearing. When the system was automated, a feature was added to allow users to log-in via the Internet and voice their opinion on a bill scheduled to be debated. This information is provided to all the committee members.
The RTS system is the ideal way to contact committee members. Once your RTS account has been set up, it only takes a few mouse clicks to “vote” and comment on a bill. However, RTS accounts can only be established using an official RTS terminal at either the Capitol in Phoenix or the State offices in Tucson. If you are an AzCDL member in good standing and do not have an RTS account, we will be happy to assist you in creating one. Contact Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org for help. If you have an RTS account but forgot how to access it, contact Fred for instructions.
We cannot overemphasize the impact of contacting your legislators. When they are inundated with constituent emails, it gets their attention and can affect how they vote. Last year, AzCDL supporters and activists sent over 7,000 emails to legislators and the governor.
We Snooze – We Lose
Arizona became a state in 1912 with a Constitution that says our right to bear arms “shall not be impaired.” Over 100 years later, we find ourselves fighting to restore that right after a century of apathy that has allowed much of it to be legislated away. Don’t believe it? What do you think would happen to you if you openly carried your pistol and ignored the “no guns” sign at your local MVD office, when you vote, pick up your kid from school, or when you visit the local steak house?
It was just a little over 10 years ago that if your shirt covered your firearm, you were breaking the law unless you first begged for government permission via a “permit,” despite what the Arizona Constitution said about “shall not be impaired.” AzCDL changed that in 2010 with the passage of Constitutional Carry.
The status quo is unacceptable. We can further restore and protect our Constitutional rights—but only with your help.
When you receive an Action Alert from AzCDL—take action. Don’t expect “the other guy” to do it for you. We’ve done the heavy lifting at the Capitol, but your emails to legislators and RTS votes are what really determines the fate of any bill.