Steps to Passing a Bill in Virginia

Here's a checklist of what to do to get a bill before the General Assembly next year:

1) Write a brief position paper - what do you want to change? why? what is the history behind the old rule? what data supports the proposed change? what have other states done to address the issue? what is the fiscal impact of the proposed change? how will this benefit people and who? What will be the opposition to this change and why? Who will oppose this change?

2) Understand where this change needs to be made legally, and what are the legal ramifications - you will need some legal advice here. 

3) Finalize the 'ask' in a letter or brief position statement and ask other civic groups to sign on to support you - suggest Korean American Association of Washington, Korean American Association of Virginia, Council of Korean Americans, NAKASEC, Voice of Vietnamese Americans, CAPAVA, VALYC (Vietnamese American Youth Leadership Conference), etc, the more groups the better

4) Approach local legislators (Del and Senators) and set up meetings to discuss/present the issue, ask for their support to carry this bill next session Jan -March 2016

5) Evaluate holding a town hall or community meeting on the issue and invite legislators to attend. Interface with the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) reps - Jenet Ahn in Sully. The MSAOC monitors the implementation of FCPS programs, policies, and strategies that affect minority student achievement, provides an assessment and consults with minority parent community to keep them informed of these efforts. MSAOC can have up to 34 members appointed by the School Board, community organizations, and FCPS regions and departments.

6) If agreed to be carried, the legislator will work with Legislative Services to draft into appropriate language.

7) Lobby, lobby lobby for your bill - organize a letter writing campaign and go visit legislators in Richmond.  Attend the subcommitee/committee hearings on the bill and attend in person to offer comments in support. Bug them till it passes!

Grace Han Wolf 
Herndon Councilmember 

Last updated: 02/17/2015