Senator Berta Gardner

January 30, 2015

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Serving Midtown,
Spenard, and UMed

State Capitol Bldg., Room 9
Juneau, AK 99801
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

Write a Letter to the Editor submit your 175 word letter to the Alaska Dispatch News via e-mail, or fax them to 258-2157, attn: letters to the editor.


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Make Your Voice Heard!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Senator Gardner joins Reps. Drummond and Tarr for a press conference
Senator Gardner joins Reps. Drummond and Tarr for a press conference

At a recent community council meeting, the chair told me that he had had  a couple of call from people asking  had contacted him to offer information or opinions to legislators or how to testify on proposed legislation.

While your voices are always welcome and important it is especially so right now and we want to encourage you to speak up and speak out. I remember being intimidated about talking with legislators. I felt that even when I had a strong opinion about an issue I cared about I was not enough of an expert to share my views. I now understand that everyone has expertise about a variety of things – especially their own lives, their neighborhoods, their schools and jobs. Don’t be shy….

Here is how to participate:

1.       Call or write to me any time you want.

2.      Testify person at the Capitol in Juneau, or by phone at your local Legislative Information Office;

3.      Write a letter to the editor or submit a compass piece to the Alaska Dispatch News;

4.      Participate in your local community council; or

5.      Talk to your friends and neighbors about your concerns.

During the legislative session we write, introduce, and shepherd bills on public policy issues that are important to our district or the state. Bills are introduced in House or Senate (or both), assigned to committees for consideration, debate, amendments and votes, and eventually, maybe, reaching the House or Senate chamber for a vote of the entire body. It’s in the committees that the public has the most ability to influence lawmakers.  If you are interested in watching a floor session or select committee meeting, some of them are broadcast on Gavel to Gavel/360 North television online

If you’d like to follow a particular bill or committee, the BASIS Website is a user-friendly tool that you can use to see which committees a bill was assigned to, which legislators sit on that committees, and when a bill is scheduled for a hearing.  I find that testimony has the most impact when it is submitted in writing ahead of time (for those of us who find the time to prepare before a meeting) and then provided verbally as well.  As we know, some people learn by hearing and some by seeing.  Doing both gives you two hits and can improve the likelihood that your testimony will have the desired impact.

If you have specific questions or would like someone to walk you through BASIS, give us a call and we’ll be very happy to do that.

I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office

signed: Berta


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