FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 27, 1997

CONTACT: Kim Alexander, (916) 325-2120
email: kimalex@netcom.com

Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith, (916) 752-0966
email: gawsmith@ucdavis.edu

INTERNET GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA'S LEGISLATURE
DEBUTS ON THE WEB

CALIFORNIA VOTER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH UC DAVIS

Sacramento -- Today the California Voter Foundation unveiled the Internet Guide to California‚s Legislature, built through a new partnership between the California Voter Foundation (CVF) and the University of California at Davis. The new web site can be found at:

http://www.calvoter.org

CVF‚s latest, non-partisan guide makes its Internet debut just in time for the end-of-session rush, when a flurry of bills are considered and voted upon before the Legislature adjourns for the year on September 12th.

„The Legislature will consider hundreds of bills in the coming weeks. Our new Internet Guide to California‚s Legislature will help the people of California better understand and participate in this process,š said Kim Alexander, executive director of CVF and the architect of the guide. „Time, distance and understanding have for too long limited political participation in this state to only those who can afford it,š she continued, noting that 74 percent of California‚s population lives more than 100 miles away from the State Capitol in Sacramento. „The Internet provides a way for people to overcome those barriers and help level the playing field between citizens and professional lobbyists.š

Some of the resources available through the new site include:

ū Rosters of the Assembly and Senate members, including hyperlinked email addresses, phone and Capitol room numbers, and the region represented by each member;

ū Directions to the State Capitol and information about where to park;

ū Tips on how to be an effective citizen lobbyist and how to work with the news media;

ū A glossary of legislative terms;

ū The 1997-98 Legislative Calendar;

ū Links to dozens of California-based news organizations;

ū Links to every state legislative web site in the country.

The Internet Guide to California‚s Legislature is the first product of a new partnership between CVF and UC Davis‚ Department of Political Science and SunTREC laboratory. Last spring, a team of three student interns worked with Alexander and UC Davis Professor Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith to produce the guide. The partnership will continue this fall, when Wandesforde-Smith will teach a course on California government. Ninety students have already signed up for the class, and enrollment has been expanded to 120 to accommodate student demand.

„This is clearly a golden opportunity for the University to work with a well-respected and innovative organization like the California Voter Foundation,š said Professor Wandesforde-Smith, who also directs UC Davis‚ Political Science internship program. „This partnership is an ideal opportunity for UC Davis students to learn directly about the policy process, while at the same time authoring web pages that will greatly aid and benefit the people of California.š Wandesforde-Smith also noted that the partnership reflects UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef‚s commitment to revitalizing the public service role of the university.

Throughout the Fall quarter, the UC Davis students will work under Alexander and Wandesforde-Smith‚s direction to develop new, non-partisan resources including legislative voting records, information on California initiatives, and a pre-1998 election edition of CVF‚s award-winning California Online Voter Guide.

„Thanks to our partnership with UC Davis, the California Voter Foundation is now positioned to deliver more web resources than we ever dreamed possible,š Alexander said. „Our new Internet Guide to California‚s Legislature is just the first of many new and exciting projects we will undertake with the University to fulfill our mission of using new technologies to inform and engage the people of California.š

The Internet Guide to California‚s Legislature was made possible through generous contributions from Pacific Telesis and Hewlett-Packard. The California Voter Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization is continuing to raise funds to support its partnership with UC Davis. For more information, visit the California Voter Foundation‚s web site at http://www.calvoter.org.

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This Web page first published 8/27/97

Last updated 8/27/97