Citizens Legislative Town Halls

State Senator José Rodríguez is focused on increasing citizen participation. To that end he has organized a series of Citizens Legislative Town Hall meetings in locations across District 29 throughout the spring and summer.

[Click here for the 2012 Citizens Legislative Town Halls schedule, updated as of May 14]

The meetings are occasions to participate in community dialogue, build connections, and learn from one another, as well as to focus on the legislative process.

They begin with the Senator giving a presentation that describes the role of government and civic participation, how to develop an agenda, and participation in the democratic process. [Click here for the Power Point presentation]

The first meeting was Feb. 25, 2012, at the Socorro Ramirez Community Center in the Sparks area, where community members gave Senator Rodríguez suggestions regarding legislation he should author and file as a part of District 29′s 2013 Legislative Session agenda. [click here to see photos of the event]

Senator Rodríguez was at the Tigua Tribal Judicial Department, 9241 Socorro Rd. on March 24. On Saturday March 17, Senator Rodríguez was at the La Fe Culture and Technology Center, 721 S. Ochoa in South El Paso, to discuss issues and take comment. [click here to read the El Paso Times' story about the event]

He was at UTEP on Thursday, April 12. [click here for more information]

If you would like more information you can contact the District 29 office. Eight staff members — each with a different area of focus — work on constituent and legislative issues in El Paso and Austin. [click here for District 29 contact information]

The Legislative Process

One of the key elements of citizen participation is understanding and engaging in the legislative process. One of the first things to understand about the legislative process is the calendar. Here are some key dates to keep in mind:

February – June, 2012: District 29 meetings to obtain citizen input for legislative agenda.

July – October, 2012: District 29 bills drafted and vetted.

Nov. 12, 2012: First day to pre-file bills for the 83rd Legislative Session.

Jan. 8, 2013: First day of 83rd Legislative Session.

March 8, 2013: Last day to file bills.

Although the Texas Legislature meets every other year, elected officials are at work constantly. One of the ways in which they prepare is via interim committees, which are given areas of policy to review and make recommendations upon. [click here for a list of Senator Rodríguez's interim committee assignments]