Virtual Capitol Day will take place on Saturday, February 13th, 2021, from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Training for District Office Meetings Inspiring Speakers (see below)
Join Family Protection Ministries (FPM) and Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA) for Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home, an event for private homeschool families.
We will have special speakers join us who will train you to contact your state legislators through their district offices near you. Together with you, we will create a visible presence and positive impression of private Christian home education.
Organized by FPM and CHEA
*Event details subject to change*
All Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy at Home participants must undergo an application process and be approved prior to participating.
The application deadline is Tuesday, February 9th, 2021.
What is Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home?
Our Capitol Day, an event for private homeschool families, has been held by FPM in Sacramento at the beginning of each new two-year legislative session for the past three decades. Click here to read about FPM and CHEA’s Capitol Day 2020. Because of COVID-19, the Capitol building will most likely not be available for tours and meetings with legislators in early 2021. Therefore, FPM and CHEA will instead be training volunteer private homeschool families to meet with their legislators through their local district offices (which will most likely be a virtual meeting or phone call, since these are the options district offices have at the moment to communicate with constituents). This combined effort between FPM, CHEA, and private homeschool families is called Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home.
Virtual Capitol Day includes:
- Virtual training session to train you to contact your legislators through their district offices (required for participants)
- Special speakers with insights on the inner workings of the Capitol and the importance of your involvement
Advocacy from Home includes:
- Contacting your legislators and their staff
- Homeschool families providing homeschool information to their legislator(s).
Training and Speakers – Live training on how to contact and meet your legislator is provided and is required for all participants. Training for our volunteer families will also be provided with written material that will be emailed and pre-recorded videos that will help equip them to make a visit to their legislator’s district office.
In addition to training, you’ll hear inspiring messages from those who work with the legislature at the Capitol through a live webinar.
Assemblyman James Gallagher has represented California’s Third Assembly District since 2014. Before joining the Assembly, he served on the Sutter County Board of Supervisors for six years. James earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Berkeley before completing an Assembly Fellowship in Sacramento and a law degree at UC Davis, where he graduated at the top of his class. He advocates for small businesses and farmers in his law practice and is a partner in his family’s farming operation. James is married to his high school sweetheart, Janna; the two live in Sutter County where they are raising their five young children.
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. is one of the founders of the non-profit research organization NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute), as well as the president. He holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, his M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and his B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been a middle school and high school classroom teacher in both public and private schools, an undergraduate college professor, and a university professor at the graduate level. He is a leading international expert with regard to homeschool research. Dr. Ray executes and publishes research, speaks to the public, testifies before legislators, and serves as an expert witness in courts.
Nathan Pierce began working at Family Protection Ministries (FPM) in 2002 to protect private homeschooling in California. He was homeschooled himself from kindergarten through high school and received a B.A. in Political Studies from The Master’s College. Currently he serves as the FPM California Director, Legislative Liaison, and conference speaker to homeschool leaders, parents and teens. He works behind the scenes at the State Capitol, meeting with legislators to advocate on behalf of homeschoolers. He and his wife Betsy were married in 2004 and have seven children. They are involved in their church, and homeschool their own children.
Weston Potter is a homeschool graduate from California. He attended Liberty University in Virginia, where he received a B.A. in politics and policy. While in Virginia, he interned for Congressmen Ben Cline (6th district). In California, he interned for both Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and Congressman Tom McClintock. He currently works for Family Protection Ministries as a legislative assistant, monitoring bills introduced by the California legislature.
Meeting your Legislator – After training, you will be equipped to contact and make an appointment with your legislator or his/her staff at his/her district office and share about private home education with them. This meeting will most likely be a virtual meeting or phone call, since these are the options district offices have at the moment to communicate with constituents.
Plan to join us in this effort and please share this with your homeschool group members so we can have all 120 district offices met by private homeschool families!
Apply for Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home
Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home is an event for private homeschool families. All Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home participants must undergo an application process for approval prior to being trained during Virtual Capitol Day.
The application deadline is Tuesday, February 9th, 2021.
To apply for Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home, please fill out this application. Once your application is approved, you will be able to register and attend Virtual Capitol Day in a live webinar and be trained to participate in Advocacy from Home.
More About Advocacy from Home
Personal Meetings – District Office Meetings
Maintaining relationships with our representatives is key. We are seeking private homeschool families with their well-behaved, well-dressed homeschooled students who are willing to be trained to schedule a meeting with their state representatives through their home district offices. The purpose of the meeting is to establish a good relationship and a positive image of private homeschooling for when the issue of new regulations of home education comes up in the future. The goal is to provide information about private home education to our California state legislators and their staff in a friendly, professional manner through our volunteer private homeschoolers.
Why you? It is important that each legislator talks to someone who lives in their district because that is who they represent and that is who they are working to please when they are at their district office. Talking with you, the private homeschoolers, allows them the opportunity to talk with actual homeschool families who live in their district. Legislators are much more likely to listen to and care about someone whom they represent.
Families and articulate teens should be willing to be trained to make an appointment with the district office (which may be either a phone call or a virtual meeting, since these are the options most offices are currently offering), introduce themselves, and provide their representatives with information about private homeschooling.
We need families who live in each of the districts for all 40 state senators and 80 state assembly members.
We aim to have all 120 offices contacted by private homeschoolers.
What does Advocacy from Home accomplish?
- It informs this year’s newly elected legislators and their staff while reminding the veteran legislators of the benefits of private homeschooling.
- It strengthens our working relationship with legislators and their staff on a professional level.
- It leaves them with a way to contact us if they ever have any questions about home education.
This event is especially vital for the many new legislators and their new aides who have not yet become familiar with private home education. In fact, a significant number of the legislators and their aides have no idea how private homeschooling works, either practically or legally, or that there are homeschoolers in their districts. These meetings go a long way toward helping them see that homeschoolers are good, law-abiding citizens who are living and working in their districts.
Additionally, advocating for your freedoms is a great learning opportunity for your family!
More about Legislators’ District Offices
Legislators have a completely separate staff in their district offices than in their capitol offices, so it is vital that we contact their district offices. This way they will already have a proper understanding of what private home education is and know real live homeschoolers when the subject of private homeschooling comes up in the legislature.
It is important to coordinate the visit with Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), as we work in cooperation with them to coordinate these meetings. Only one group or individual should visit the same legislator in a single day.
Please consider joining us in this effort!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should participate in Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home? All private homeschool families are invited to join us!
When is Virtual Capitol Day? Saturday, February 13th, 2021, from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Can children attend Virtual Capitol Day and Advocacy from Home 2021? Children are welcome and encouraged to attend with their parents.
Why conduct Capitol Day through district office meetings? Participating in these district office meetings will show clearly to our state legislators that private homeschool freedoms are of constant concern to families from around the state. Families who express determination and interest in protecting these freedoms, even during COVID-19, show our legislators just how vital these freedoms are to the homeschooling community. During this pandemic season, a meeting through the district office is much more effective and likely to occur than a visit to a legislator’s capitol office.
What is a district office meeting like? A legislator’s district office is calmer and more relaxed than their capitol office. A legislator will have more time to discuss issues specific to the district and to really connect with the people of the district that he or she represents.
For example, during a meeting homeschool families can express gratitude for the work he or she is doing, mentioning that they want the best quality education for their child(ren) and that they are teaching their child(ren) at home.