In a small state like Alaska, it is important that citizens make their voices heard, both to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence and stalking and to prevent further violence. Senators and representatives are very responsive to their constituents and want to hear from them.
You Can Participate in the Legislative Process by …
- Contacting your representative or senator at the state capitol during session; or at their home offices during the interim. Their contact information is available on the State of Alaska Legislative website and can also be accessed by clicking here.
- Write letters to the editors of your local paper.
- Follow legislation on BASIS.
- Testify at committee hearings on legislation that is important to you.
Who Represents Me?
- Not sure who your state senator or representative is? The State of Alaska Legislative Website provides a look up function. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to enter your address and find out who your elected officials are.
Making Your Voice Heard
Testifying at a committee hearing provides a valuable opportunity to have your voice heard and deliver your message to the legislators on that committee, their aides, and other members of the public attending the hearing. Testifying at a time when legislators are making critical decisions about whether or not to pass or amend a piece of legislation can be very influential. For information on “Quick Tips for Effective Testimony” click here.
Public Opinion Messages
Public Opinion Messages are brief communications sent from citizens to legislators via the Legislative computer system. The POM program is not intended to replace other forms of communication, such as personal letters, but is designed to provide Alaskans with a timely forum for expressing their views on legislative issues. POMs are taken and sent only during legislative sessions. If you wish to send an online POM go to http://www.legis.state.ak.us/poms/. POM’s are limited to 50 words and may not contain any vulgar or obscene language.
Attending a Teleconference
Public hearing teleconferences are electronic extensions of the committee process and are usually limited to a specific subject or bill. Public hearing teleconferences are used by the legislature to allow you to participate directly in the legislative process. Hearing protocol is selected by the committee chairperson. As a general rule, the public can listen in on any committee hearing, however, public testimony is only accepted during pre-noticed hearing times and dates. Check BASIS for when public testimony is being taken on a particular piece of legislation.
When you arrive at the LIO or teleconference center to attend a teleconference, you will be asked to sign in, giving your name and address and to indicate whether you are planning to testify. The moderator of the teleconference will assist you in the use of the equipment and let you know when it is your turn to testify. The chair may request that testimony be limited to a certain length of time and will decide the order of participation in the teleconference.
Not sure what to say? Click here for Quick Tips for Effective Testimony.