LLA Legislative Day is fast approaching. We anticipate a great day on Thursday, May 5 at the state capitol and hope you will join us there. We need to have a large turnout and big presence to make a strong impression. There is a lot of pressure on the budget and on legislators this year, and if we do not speak up on behalf of libraries, we will be left out and left behind. We are asking members to make a real effort to attend if at all possible.
If you are not able to be there in person, we do have ways you can participate virtually. The information below contains an agenda and overview of plans for the day, It also includes parking and other logistical information. Since this message is lengthy, you may want to print and save it. It will also be posted on the LLA website for downloading.
Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
LLA Legislative Chair
LLA Legislative Day 2011 Agenda & Information May 5, 2011
10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Shift 1 volunteers gather in the rotunda and receive instructions and general information and assist with information and handouts.
Other LLA members sign in; pick up LLA button and handouts at table & visit Committee Proceedings (a list of anticipated committee meetings will be available at the LLA table.
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Shift 2 volunteers gather in the rotunda and receive instructions and general information and assist with information and handouts.
Other LLA members visit legislators as they prepare for afternoon sessions and visit Senate and/or House Chambers to view sessions in progress.
Shift 3 volunteers gather in the rotunda and receive instructions and general information and assist with information and handouts.
Other LLA members visit Senate and/or House Chambers to view sessions in progress.
Volunteers continue to answer questions & provide information as needed.
Try to email your representatives and senator early in the week to let them know you will be attending LLA Legislative Day on Thursday and hope to have a few minutes of their time to say hello. If you do not know your representatives and senator by sight, I suggest looking up their web page where you can find a nice color photo to help you identify them. This will be especially helpful if you pass one in the hall or see them in the rotunda. We will also make a legislative guide with photos available at the table for use there.
Dress professionally (not necessarily formally but appropriately to make a good impression); wear a medium or light blue jacket or shirt, if possible. Wear comfortable shoes.
When you arrive at the Capitol, report to the LLA table. It will be on the House side of the rotunda, which is on the right side if you walk up the front steps, and on the left if you use the elevator and enter the rotunda from the hall. The easiest way to get into the Capitol is through one of the side entrances on the lower level. Walk around the steps and you will see the double doors. You will go through a security check when you enter. Take the elevator up to the next level.
Pick up an LLA button and other information at the table. Meeting schedules will be available for viewing at the table. LLA prepared a packet with information on Louisiana libraries for each legislator. The packet was pre-delivered to legislators along with a letter inviting them to stop by our table in the rotunda. You will have copies of the print materials legislators receive so may use it in having discussions with them, if needed.
If you arrive in the morning and attend any committee meeting in session, there may be an opportunity to speak with one or more of them in the hall or room before or following meetings. Be sensitive to what they are doing and to their body language. Do not interrupt if they are engaged in a discussion with their colleagues, but if you stand to the side, you may have an opportunity to engage him or her afterward. Introduce yourself and identify where you work. Tell them you are present with LLA to let them know we appreciate their ongoing support which will help libraries to continue doing the best job possible for the citizens of Louisiana (or mention the specific group(s) you work with.) Legislators generally have a very hectic schedule so don’t expect a long conversation. Be prepared for a short and cordial conversation. Smile!
When the House and Senate are in a general session, you may quietly enter the Chamber and take a seat at the rear. You may also ask one of the staff members on duty for a card on which you can write a short note to your representative or senator to let him/her know you are there. If you do that, stand at the rear so he/she can easily see you. If there are several from your parish, only one note is necessary; just mention that a small group is there and would like to say hello if possible. They may or may not respond, depending on what business is going on. The Sergeant at Arms may request that you wait in the chamber foyer or immediately outside.
Following Legislative Day, if you miss your legislators, send an email expressing your regret that you were unable to speak with them, but thanking them for their work and for their ongoing support for libraries.
PARKING AND OTHER INFORMATION
Parking is available in the Louisiana Welcome Center parking garage, only a block from the Capitol. It is located on the right side of North Street, between Lafayette St. and River Road. Walk through the A.Z. Young Park between the Welcome Center and the Pentagon Barracks to get to the Capitol. The Bienville Parking Garage on the southwest corner of North & 3rd streets may have some free spaces. The Main St. Market parking garage is about 3-4 blocks from the Capitol on North St. A few other surface parking lots are available along North and Main streets. Note for those familiar with the area: Parking in Spanish Town is now limited to vehicles of Spanish Town residents with a permit. WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE CAR POOLING!
The Capitol can be accessed through a number of entrances. Most utilized are those on the basement (street) level. Entrance to the building can also be obtained at the top of the steps. Entrance into the Capitol from any outside location is controlled. It is very similar to entering the secure areas at an airport. Security guards are located at the basement level entrances. Each visitor is required to move through a metal detection device, and will be asked to check personal items such as keys, cell phones, purses, etc. These items will be returned after passing through the metal detector.
Rest room facilities are located in the Louisiana Welcome Center and in the Capitol. Capitol restrooms are located on the basement (street) level, through the brass doors into the elevator area. They are located on the left before reaching the bank of elevators, and across from the cafeteria. There is another set of rest rooms on the first floor. They are located on the side of the bank of elevators.
Access to the House and Senate chambers is through the rotunda. When facing the elevators, the Senate chamber is to the left, and the House chamber is to the right. Proceedings can be observed from galleries that are located above the chambers. Getting to the galleries requires climbing a flight of stairs.
If you are unable to be in Baton Rouge on May 5 we invite you to participate where you are. First and most important, email a message to your legislators on May 5, letting them know you are unable to attend in person but are writing in support of libraries and/or call their office to leave a message.
In addition, consider wearing blue to work that day, and, if feasible, post a sign inviting patrons to ask you why you are wearing blue so you can let them know you are supporting Louisiana libraries on LLA legislative day. A sample sign is posted on the LLA website under the Legislative Day link. www.llaonline.org
Print a few copies of handouts from the LLA Legislative Day link on the website (the Quick Facts about Louisiana Libraries document, for example) to have ready to hand out to anyone interested in learning more.
During the session, mail can be sent to legislators at the state capitol:
Representative John Doe
P.O. Box 44486
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4486
Senator Jane Doe
P.O. Box 94183
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4183
To talk directly to a Representative or Senator, contact the House switchboard (225-342-6945) or the Senate switchboard (225-342-2040).
During legislative sessions, notes to individual members can be presented to the sergeant-at-arms stationed in or near the chambers.
This year for the first time Louisiana has a page on the ALA CapWiz website. There you will find a general message about emailing legislators and sample letters of support to use as you write a message of support to legislators. Using this site, you can identify your legislators and link directly to their email to send a letter. http://capwiz.com/ala/la/home/
•Don’t know who your representative or senator is? To find a link to that and more information about the legislature, visit the legislative How Do I? page for answers:
•How can you find out what committees are in session and the bills under consideration on any given day? That’s easy! Go to the legislature’s home page and find the list of committees under Today’s Meetings. Click on each committee to see what bills are on the agenda.
•Want to see a map of downtown Baton Rouge and directions to the Capitol? Click on the link below.
We look forward to your participation in LLA Legislative Day on May 5.