DATE: December 8, 2012
LOCATION: Texas Capitol – Austin
TIME: 10:30a – 4:30p
Together with Texans for Accountable Government, we proudly present our first annual Catalyst 730: Capitol Training Day, a full day of educational sessions, discussion and dialogue designed to teach you everything you need to know to take an active role in Texas’ legislative process.
What’s in a name?
- something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.
- a person or thing that precipitates an event or change
- a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
The number of days in a biennium. The business and budget of Texas government is planned two years at a time. While the Texas legislature only meets every two years for 140 days, if we are to be effective catalysts in Austin we must be engaging lawmakers and working on good policy throughout the entire biennium, 730 days.
We founded We Texans in 2010 as a nonprofit and nonpartisan public policy organization whose goal is to protect liberty, justice & integrity in Texas through activism and education. As an extension of this mission, we created Catalyst 730. In this year’s program, four sessions of content will cover everything you need to know about how to become active in the legislative process in Austin.
This event is free and open to the public but space is limited. So mark your calendars and plan to join us in Austin on Saturday, December 8. If you’re traveling from out of town, be sure to check out MegaBus for transportation options starting as low as $1 each way.
We hope to see you at the Catalyst 730 this year!
This event is generously sponsored by Rep. David Simpson, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Rep. George Lavender and Sen. Jane Nelson and is supported through contributions from our members.
9:30a | Registration Opens
10:30a | Session 1: Foundations of Limited Government Our Executive Director, Debra Medina , will lead the opening session with a presentation on the danger of pure democracy, the tyranny of the majority and the sovereignty of state government
11:15a | Session 2: The Legislative Process An introduction to the Texas legislature including an overview of committees, the legislative calendar, committee offices and how a bill becomes law.
11:45a | Session 3: Capitol Tour This walking tour will show you how to get around the Capitol and include key stops at the floor of Senate, floor of House, committee hearing rooms, the Governor’s office, the Speaker’s office and Representative & Senator offices.
12:30p | Round Table Lunch Our lunch break will offer you the chance to mix it up with experienced volunteers, activists, lobbyists, state reps and their staff.
1:15p | Panel Discussion Our extended lunch break will conclude with a panel discussion and audience Q&A. The panel will discuss the fast-pace of the session and need for interim work, how to build relationships within the Capitol, how to get connected to the right legislative staffer and other responsibilities of legislative staff including helping constituents navigate government bureaucracy. The panel will be made up of: legislators, legislative Chief of staff and staff member, lobbyist and activist leader.
2:30p | Session 4 (Part 1): Getting Involved The final session of the day will be broken into two parts and include all the pragmatic details you’ll need to know to become a catalyst in the legislative process. From the logistics of where to park, where to eat, when to come and where to stay, to the details on hearing proceedings and etiquette. This session will be jam packed with helpful how-tos for tracking legislation, testifying at committee hearings, visiting legislators offices and utilizing the Texas Legislature Online website.
3:45p | Closing Address
Departing State Senator, Jeff Wentworth , will lead our closing session with an address on the importance of citizen involvement in state government and their ability to affect change.